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Rage is the primary resource used by warriors and druids. Rage is required for the execution of most 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, depending on the warrior's stance; it can be generated by the warrior's auto-attacks, by taking damage, or simply by staying in combat. Certain abilities can also be used to generate rage regardless of the warrior's stance. By default all warriors have a maximum of 100 rage, but by choosing can raise this cap to 120.
A number of abilities, talents and glyphs affect the use of rage in some way. Most reduce the rage cost of certain abilities, while a few offer additional opportunities for generation.
Rage can be generated by several means, depending on the warrior's abilities, talents, glyphs and stance:
- Rage can be generated using certain abilities. Each type of warrior has at least one primary attack that generates rage while dealing damage - , , , and . In addition, other abilities such as , and can be used to generate additional rage. Numerous
- The warrior's auto-attacks (regular melee attacks) generate rage while in or . The amount generated depends upon damage dealt, with Battle Stance generating twice as much rage as Berserker Stance.
- Rage can be generated by being attacked while in .
- Rage can be generated by remaining in combat while in . 1 rage is generated every 3 seconds, for as long as the warrior remains in combat.
Certain other effects can also generate rage:
- The warrior passive grants 10 rage whenever the warrior achieves a critical hit with , or , or a critical block.
- The warrior talent generates 20 rage over 10 sec upon being Stunned or Immobilized.
- The warrior glyph allows to generate 1 rage each time it hits an enemy.
- Druids' rage is set to 10 upon shifting into Bear Form.
- The druid passive generates 15 rage whenever the druid achieves a critical hit with their auto-attacks or .
The following items can also generate rage:
- Potions such as , and (level 35) can be used to generate rage.
- (level 60) generates 20 rage upon killing a target that yields experience.
- The Druid exclusive . (level 40) generates 5 rage whenever the Druid shifts into
While not in combat, rage is lost at rate of 1.25 rage per second. However it is possible for a warrior to bank rage for extended periods of time. To maintain a constant rage value out of combat, 75 rage per minute (RPM) must be met, however it is usually 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.
The abilities and can be very effective in counteracting rage decay, suspending decay for 6 seconds in addition to generating 20 rage. Although requiring a target, has the same effect. Other abilities such as can be used to counteract rage loss, but do not suspend its decay.
One of the best ways of banking rage (where possible) is to attack critters like snakes or rats. As well as the rage gained by the attack itself, by entering combat, the warrior's rage decay is briefly halted. Each critter essentially offers the warrior an opportunity for free, instant rage generation. This is a great way to preserve rage while waiting for a group, and can also serve as an excellent 'ramp' into combat, allowing the warrior to accumulate a healthy portion of rage before attacking. 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 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 warriors will usually want to spend rage in the most efficient or useful way possible, because of its cap at 100 (120 with ) when it is likely that any further rage generated will exceed this cap, it becomes desirable to spend it in any way possible. The ability to expend rage is generally limited by the global cooldown, as well as by the cooldowns of some individual abilities. When the warrior is accumulating more rage than they are spending through their preferred use of abilities, they may turn to a rage dump to avoid wasting the excess rage entirely.
Rage dumps are abilities that are relatively inefficient or unrewarding in proportion to their rage cost. Nonetheless when compared to the alternative of simply wasting rage, they can become a valuable source of damage. In order to facilitate their use in addition to a warrior's other attacks (allowing them to be used for this purpose) rage dumps are not affected by the global cooldown. This allows warriors to use them in addition to their preferred abilities, without sacrificing time or damage in the process.
Warriors have two rage dumps - and - while druids have one - . Warriors can therefore choose between single-target and dual-target damage. Warriors' rage dumps are also on a 1.5 second cooldown as opposed to druids' 3 second cooldown, allowing for more frequent use.
The main mistake made with rage dumps is to use them as often as possible. Rage dumps are inherently far less efficient and effective ways of spending rage than any other attacks - they are generally the least desirable attack to spend your rage on. However, because they are not affected by the global cooldown, it is possible to use rage dumps for the express purpose of dealing a very large amount of damage in a short period of time. This may leave the warrior rage-starved, but can be useful in situations such as PvP. In addition, certain abilities and glyphs such as and can make these attacks far more efficient, allowing them to be used more freely. However, outside of these situations, rage dumps should not be used unless there is no better way of spending the rage. The rule of thumb for rage dumps is to use them only when you are accumulating more rage than you can spend.
Stats, abilities, talents, glyphs and items that affect rage
Although not directly increasing rage generation, by interacting with abilities and other modifiers, certain stats can facilitate rage production.
- Any stat that increases the frequency of critical hits will increase rage generation via / , and potentially also via and for warriors in those stances.
- Protection warriors will gain similar benefit from increasing their block chance.
- Any stat that increases damage done will increase rage generation for warriors in or .
- Strength, agility, crit chance, haste, hit rating, expertise, block (for Protection warriors) and PvP Power (if engaged in PvP) will all therefore increase rage generation.
A few talents directly affect rage, providing additional sources or altering related abilities.
- rare world drop leatherworking pattern, and can be used to generate 30 rage once every 20 minutes. comes from a
- The 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.
- 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.