Rage is the primary resource used by Warriors and druids. Rage is required for the execution of many of their abilities, although auto attacks don't depend on it at all. 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. While Arms and Fury Warriors primarily use Rage to deal damage, Protection Warriors and Guardian Druids can also use it to mitigate damage or even self-heal.
By default the rage bar is empty, and when out of combat, rage drains or depletes at a constant rate, unaffected by level or stats. Rage can be generated in a number of ways, some passive and some active. By default, Rage is capped at a maximum of 100, but by choosing as an Arms Warrior, this cap is raised to 130.
A number of abilities and talents affect the use of Rage in some way. Most reduce the Rage cost of certain abilities, while a few offer additional opportunities for generation.
Basic rage generation
Rage can be generated by several means, depending on the Warrior or Druid's abilities and talents:
- Rage can be generated using specific abilities such as (Fury Warrior), (Protection Warrior), and (Druids). Other, more situational, abilities such as and can be used to generate additional Rage.
- Auto attacks generate Rage, the amount of which depends only on the speed of the weapon you use and your specialization. It's normalized to a fixed amount per second, however, regardless of weapon speed. See the table below for more details. Auto attacks are how Arms Warriors generates most of their Rage.
- Rage can be generated by being attacked at a rate of 3 Rage per hit received, but no more often than once per second. This applies to all Warrior specializations as well as Druids in . The talented ability for Guardian Druids temporarily allows for the amount of damage taken to generate more Rage.
Certain other effects can also generate Rage:
- The Arms Warrior passive grants 30% extra rage whenever an auto attack crits.
- A Druid's Rage is set to 25 upon shifting into .
Rage per second from auto attacks
|Main Hand||Off Hand|
Because this is a normalized amount per second, and weapons attack slower than once per second, the amount generated per swing is much higher:
- Initial Warrior: 15.92 Rage per attack with a one-handed weapon.
- Arms Warrior: 25.2 Rage per attack with a two-handed weapon.
- Fury Warrior:
- Main Hand: 6.3 Rage per attack with a two-handed weapon, or 4.55 Rage per attack with a one-handed weapon.
- Off Hand: 3.15 Rage per attack with a two-handed weapon, or 2.275 Rage per attack with a one-handed weapon.
- Protection Warrior: 2 Rage per attack with a one-handed weapon.
- Bear Form: 4 Rage per attack at 2.5 swings per second.
Other rage generation
Although not directly increasing Rage generation, by interacting with abilities and other modifiers, certain stats can facilitate more production.
- Critical strike will increase Rage generation via for Arms Warriors or via Seethe with for Fury Warriors.
- Haste and anything else that increases Attack speed will result in more auto attacks and thus more Rage generated from them. Warriors in particular have lots of ways of getting Haste from talented abilities. Haste also synergizes with the Guardian Druid talent because Haste increases the tick-rate of DoTs.
- rare world drop leatherworking pattern, and can be used to generate 30 Rage once every 20 minutes. comes from a
- The Ragnaros can generate 20 Rage on a killing blow if the mob would give experience. This effect is limited to once every 10 seconds. from
- The Druid exclusive . generates 5 Rage whenever the Druid shifts into
Rage Potions, crafted by alchemists, can be used to generate Rage:
- : Instantly generates 20 to 40 Rage.
- : Instantly generates 30 to 60 Rage.
- : Instantly generates 45 to 75 Rage and increases Strength by 60 for 20 sec.
While not in combat, Rage is lost at rate of 1.25 per second. To maintain a constant Rage value out of combat, 75 Rage per minute (RPM) must be met. However, this is not very feasible as the spells and Thrash and the PvP talent are among the only ways you can generate Rage outside of combat, and no other spells can suspend it.
It's only necessary to maintain Rage for brief periods such as while waiting for the group to recover mana or health or while running from one opponent to the next, so it's more important to bank as much Rage in combat as you can between encounters than it is to generate lots of it while out of combat. Having enough Rage for the next boss or pack of mobs gives you a head start on damage or defense.
The best way to maintain high Rage is by attacking critters like snakes or rats. You can generate Rage from the attack or spell used and put yourself in combat for a few seconds to suspend decay. Each critter essentially offers an opportunity for free, instant Rage generation, so keep your eye out for them. Low-level mobs can be used in a similar way, potentially allowing the warrior to build-up a full rage bar before attacking a more dangerous foe. When attacking targets for this reason, remember to use (as a Warrior) as much as possible.
The use of Rage depends on role and situation. In PvE, DPS Warriors will often use Rage to fuel a standard rotation, while Protection Warriors and Guardian Druids will focus more on damage mitigation and survival. In PvP, the unpredictable nature of combat means that Rage is often spent in response to opponents' actions, depending on the need for damage, control or survival. Rage pooling can be useful for those specializations that have abilities which increase their damage for a period of time.
Although you will usually want to spend Rage in the most efficient or useful way possible. Because of its cap at 100 (130 with ), when any further Rage generated will be capped, it becomes desirable to spend it quickly. The ability to expend Rage is generally limited by the global cooldown, as well as by the cooldowns of some individual abilities. When accumulating more Rage than being spent, players should use a "Rage dump" to avoid wasting it.
Rage dumps are generally inefficient or unrewarding in proportion to their cost, making them less desirable to spend Rage on, but are better than simply wasting Rage. The rule of thumb for Rage dumps is to use them only when you are accumulating more Rage than you can spend.
For ease of use and smoothness in one's rotation for dumping Rage, these spells are sometimes not affected by the global cooldown so they can be used in addition to their preferred abilities without sacrificing time, damage, or Rage generation. In the past, there were such spells that dealt damage, but now off-GCD dumps are relegated entirely to defensive spells. Generation from all sources is balanced around how much Rage you can spend on the GCD. Should such spells return, they can be used for large but inefficient bursts of damage that may leave you Rage-starved, but can be situationally useful to finish off targets like in PvP.
The main mistake made with Rage dumps is to assume you must use them as often as possible. Rage dumps should generally not be used unless there is no better way of spending the Rage, or if the situation demands use of that spell.
All Warriors have as an off-GCD defensive dump, while Protection Warriors also have as an on-GCD damage dump and get no cooldown on Ignore Pain. Ignore Pain has a limit to its absorb shield, so if possible they should avoid over-capping it. Revenge can be used when defense is not needed.
Because Fury Warriors are designed to spend all of their Rage on as often as possible, which costs most of their Rage bar, they don't need off-GCD dumps, and Rampage doesn't qualify as a dump since it's their most powerful Rage spender.
Druids' only off-GCD Rage dump is which is enough to handle the amount of Rage they generate from all sources - especially because Ironfur has a stacking effect which makes it very efficient to pool Rage before a large burst of damage and then spend it multiple times at once.
Abilities and talents that increase rage
A few talents directly affect Rage, providing additional sources or altering related abilities. Not included are talents which increase stats that indirectly increase Rage generation.
- Guardian Druid:
- Patch 8.0.1 (2018-07-17): Rage from damage taken is now normalized to 3 per hit with an internal cooldown of 1 second. This change affects all Warriors as well as Druids in .
- Patch 7.0.3 (2016-07-19): Stances and Glyphs removed. became a talent for Arms Warrior that toggles a reduction in damage taken and dealt. Rage once again is naturally generated based on the amount of damage taken. With Artifact Weapons, some traits would modify the Rage that some abilities generated. Many spells and their costs were reworked, such as now being a spender for Arms Warriors (who now rely on auto-attacks for Rage). Auto attack Rage generation coefficients were adjusted for every spec.
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): The design of Rage has changed to function more like a valuable resource. Warriors no longer naturally gain Rage from taking damage, but instead generate Rage with their primary attacks, such as , , and . In addition, now allows the warrior to gain some Rage from taking damage and normal attacks, while allows the warrior to gain high Rage from normal attacks and generates 1 Rage every 3 seconds while in combat. Changing stance no longer causes the warrior to lose rage.
- Patch 4.3.0 (2011-11-29): Several Rage generating abilities now briefly interrupt rage decay when they are cast.
- 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. Haste will allow Rage to generate more rapidly by increasing attack speed. In addition, while taking damage, the amount of Rage generated will now be based on the Warrior's health rather than the opponent's level. The essence of this change is to improve the scaling that occurs with Warrior gear. With Warriors balanced around the top tiers of items, we've found that the class tends to underperform more drastically than others in lower-quality items. These changes should correct that.
- Patch 3.1.0 (2009-04-14): Attacks that are absorbed (such as by ) will now generate rage.
- Patch 1.3.0 (2005-03-07): Fixed a bug where rage was not being generated when normal melee attacks were parried, dodged, and blocked.