Sudden Death - 0/3 - Your melee critical hits have a 10% chance to allow the use of your execute ability regardless of the target's health state.
This ability has the chance to provide an arms warrior with some pretty impressive burst damage in the form of additional executes. There are several issues I have with this talent. First, it is difficult to justify three points into a talent that does nothing 20% of the time (i.e. the time one can use execute anyway). Second, this talent is gear dependent and RNG dependent in that, the better the gear, the greater the likelihood of an execute. The overall effectiveness of this talent will need to be thoroughly theorycrafted but at a first glance, it seems reasonable for a deep arms PVP build or level grinding and an occasional rage dump for PVE Arms.
Trauma - 0/2 - Your normal melee critical strikes increase the effectiveness of bleed effects on the target by 15% for 15%
This increases to 30% with 2/2 and seems to be targeting PVE arms warriors as this talent's prerequisite is Blood Frenzy. There is so much ambiguity with this talent that for now, I will reserve judgement. Obviously, theorycrafting will need to be done with this to truly estimate its effectiveness (how good is rend in WOTLK? Does it stack with Mangle?, etc). The thing that really gets me with this is the way the tooltip is worded. Most notably, ..."normal melee critical strikes...". Does this mean only white damage or any melee strike? Why word it this way if its the same as flurry which is worded as follows?:
"Increase your attack speed by 5% for your next three swings after dealing a melee critical strike"
Notice it is not a "Normal" melee critical strike. What's the difference? Who knows?
On a personal note...
I still have absolutely no idea why Blood Frenzy is an Arms talent. I understand that Arms warriors would bring just about nothing but DPS to a PVE raid environment but as it stands now, Blood Frenzy single-handedly unbalanced warriors as it places Fury warriors on the sidelines in raid scenarios that are void a full time Arms warrior with the talent. To me, this is the quintessential example of imbalance and what Blizzard usually does well; focuses a class spec on it's primary function and provide that spec small degrees of flexibility. Based on Blizzards track record Arms = PVP, Fury = PVE. Giving the best PVE dps talent to Arms warriors makes no sense. Arms already has the vast majority of outstanding PVP talents.
To further qualify the position, Blizzard has already adjusted talents in the past when this kind of issue has arose. Blizzard took Improved Intercept, a clearly PVP ability, and moved it to the Arms Tree, despite the repercussions it had on Fury spec's PVP viability. I see no reason the same precedent should be set for fury warriors.
At any rate, back to the evaluation...
Unrelenting Assault - 0/3 - Reduce the cooldown of your Overpower and Revenge abilities by 1 second.
This seems like more of a filler talent than anything else. I find that the only time I really look to use Overpower is in arena when fighting a rogue. I use Revenge significantly while tanking but no one who is raid tanking will be this invested into Arms. These are only linked in this manner because the abilities share a cooldown. There are some combos that one could set up with improved overpower and maintaining flurry via crits but overall, this just doesn't seem worth investing points into.
Bull Rush: - 0/3 - Increase the stun duration of your charge and intercept abilities by 0.4 seconds.
It scales .4 to .7 and then to a full 1 second duration. If there was one thing that PVP warriors and rogues taught us in arena is that stuns can be difficult to overcome. Sure it's cheesy and void of skill but they are ridiculously effective. Still, 3 points for 1 second additional seems like minimal value for talent points. Regardless, this may be something warriors consider for arena play.
Strength of Arms - 0/5 - Increase strength and total health by 1%.
Perhaps I expect too much at this venue for talents but this just doesn't do it for me. Sure, it does scale with your total health as opposed to just stamina but at this point, I wanted something a bit more original. This talent is boring and its just more filler to get to the 51 point talent. Nevertheless, the extra strength and health never hurt so people will take this just to get to prerequisite to test Bladestorm.
Bladestorm - 0/1 - Instantly whirlwind all nearby targets and for the next 4.5 seconds, perform a whirlwind ever second. While under the effects of a bladestorm you can move but cannot use any other attacks or abilities but you do not feel pity or remorse or fear and cannot be stopped unless killed.
So most of the first impressions on the forums are less than impressed with this talent. I can sort of see why. It only lasts for 5 seconds and you can't do anything while using it. Sure, you get to whirlwind every second or so but 4.5 seconds goes by quick. Classes that can CC can out range this and wait it out and classes with exceptional mobility can simply run from it. With that said, there are some decent things about this ability. The cooldown is very reasonable at 90 seconds and will be used frequently. I know how annoying The Beast Within works for hunters and I imagine this will be just as annoying for arena participants. My major question is do the whirlwinds this ability generates going to net rage? If that is the case, the 25 rage spent here will likely translate into a rage gain once the Bladestorm ends. This could be very useful in sequencing attacks, particularly with its short duration. At any rate, this is an ability that will likely need theorycrafted quite a bit to make a good decision about.
Miscellaneous Changes to Arms Talents
- Iron Will is now 0/3 and scales to 10/20/30%
- Sweeping Strikes and Death Wish have switched places once again.
- Sweeping Strikes now only effects the next 5 melee swings as opposed to 10 as it did in the Fury Tree.
- Improved Rend has become Bloodletting 0/3 and increases the effect of rend and bloodbath by 25/50/75%
- Mace Spec can only trigger once every 6 seconds.
- Overpower now has one rank and does only weapon damage.
- Poleaxe spec now increases both critical strike chance but also increases damage done from critical strikes.
The big changes here are with Sweeping Strikes and Death Wish again. This time they nerfed both before returning them to their original trees. Sweeping Strikes now only affects the next five swings as opposed to ten. This could be a mild adjustment from a two-handed build versus dual wielding but either way dropping from ten to five is significant enough to mention. Death Wish took an even bigger hit but we will get more into that next week =)
By in large, most of these change seem to be adjustments to game play. Adjusting Poleaxe to increase crit chance and damage was a logical response to resilience for PVPers who use axes. Improved Rend is thankfully gone and replaced with what appears to be a better version. Time will tell on that front but overall, nothing else really struck me as game altering.
As a whole, I can't say I am really excited about these talents. They seem to focus on PVP with minimal PVE except for the ridiculousness that is Blood Frenzy and now its counterpart, Trauma. Bladestorm and Sudden Death will be interesting to test but nothing here truly makes me want to spec Arms for any degree of time. Quite honestly, I am a bit disappointed. It's been over a year and a half and this is the Alpha test talents? Sure, these can and will likely change in the next few months but I certainly would like to see some more original talents. Blizzard has had plenty of time.
Next up....Fury Tree