WoW Classic WotLK: Warrior Leveling Guide (1-80)

Warriors are the pure martial class of the Warcraft universe, relying entirely on their own brute strength to defeat their foes. This narrow focus can make them tricky to play solo and therefore challenging to level, as they lack some of the control and healing abilities that make other classes more independent. However, with a little preparation and experience, they can still be very effective and enjoyable to play. Let us guide you in leveling a warrior from 1 to 80 in WotLK Classic!

Best Warrior Leveling Spec

We’ll be using the Arms talent specialization for this warrior leveling guide. Fury and Protection are both viable options, but Arms has the best combination of damage and survivability for leveling.

Unlike in retail World of Warcraft, you will need to visit your class trainer in order to learn new spells as you level up. Trainers are located in every major faction city as well as each of the starting zones. You should train at least every few levels, because new ranks and new spells can make a huge difference to your damage and efficiency.

Best Warrior Leveling Spec - WotLK Guide
The Arms talent build we’ll use for this guide. (Image: Blizzard via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

Gear and Stats

As an Arms warrior, here are the stats you should look for on gear, in order of importance:

  1. Strength is your strongest stat, with each point granting two points of Attack Power. You should be able to get lots of it on your gear without having to look for it specifically.
  2. Attack Power increases the damage you do with most of your abilities and is the main secondary stat you should aim for.
  3. Critical Strike increases your damage by causing more of your abilities to critically hit.
  4. Haste speeds up your attacks, increasing the amount of damage you can do over any given window of time.
  5. Hit is much more important at level 80. You won’t see much of it as you level, but when you do, it’s good to grab.
  6. Agility is useful because it increases your Critical Strike.
  7. Stamina does nothing to boost your damage, but is important for your survivability. It should come naturally on your gear without needing to look for it.

Warriors can use any type of armor, with mail being the best until plate becomes available at level 40. You should focus on the stats above rather than worrying too much about armor.

Warriors can also use any weapon except for a wand. Keep in mind that each individual weapon type has its own separate skill in WoW Classic. If you swap to a different weapon type, you may need to level its skill before you can be effective with it.

As far as choosing your weapons, go for damage rather than DPS. Arms warriors do best with slow weapons that do big crits. You can also have a ranged weapon equipped, but you won’t be using it for much beyond being a stat stick.

WoW Classic WotLK Warrior Tauren Thunder Bluff
Warriors can use any armor and almost any weapons. (Image: Blizzard via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

Best Heirlooms for Arms Warriors

Heirloom gear is well worth getting if you have a level 80 character and are able to purchase it. They scale with your level so that you don’t have to keep replacing your gear as you go. Chest and shoulder pieces also provide a buff to your experience gained, increasing your leveling speed significantly. Your plate heirlooms will automatically adjust to be mail at level 1, since plate doesn’t become available until level 40. So you don’t need to buy 2 separate sets of heirlooms.

These are the heirloom pieces you should look for if you are leveling a warrior:

  • Shoulder: Polished Spaulders of Valor
  • Chest: Polished Breastplate of Valor
  • Trinket: Swift Hand of Justice
  • Trinket: Inherited Insignia of the Alliance/Horde
  • Weapon: Bloodied Arcanite Reaper
Best Heirlooms - Warrior Leveling Guide WotLK
The best heirlooms for a warrior. (Image: Blizzard via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

Guide to Leveling a Warrior in WotLK

Now let’s get to leveling!

Level 1-9

Rotation: You’ll start out with Battle Stance, which you should be in at all times. At level 1, you will just be using Heroic Strike whenever you have rage for it, and Auto Attack otherwise. You can train Battle Shout immediately and should start maintaining its buff at all times. The buff has a short duration, so it’s good to get in the habit of using it before every pull.

At level 4, you’ll learn Rend and Charge, and at level 6, you’ll learn Victory Rush and Thunder Clap. Hamstring rounds out your abilities for this range at level 8, giving you a way to slow enemies down.

Here is the priority you’ll develop during this level range:

  1. Stay in Battle Stance at all times.
  2. Use Battle Shout before you pull.
  3. Use Charge to start the fight (starting at level 4).
  4. Use Rend to apply/maintain the bleed on your target (starting at level 4).
  5. Use Victory Rush if it’s available (starting at level 6).
  6. Use Thunder Clap on cooldown (starting at level 6).
  7. Spend any extra rage on Heroic Strike.
WoW Classic WotLK Warrior Trainer
Visit your trainer often for new abilities and ability ranks. (Image: Blizzard via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

Level 10-19

Talents: At level 10, you’ll be able to choose your first talent. Here are the recommended talents for this level range:

  • Level 10-11: Improved Rend (2/2)
  • Level 12-14: Improved Heroic Strike (3/3)
  • Level 15-16: Improved Charge (2/2)
  • Level 17-19: Tactical Mastery (3/3)

Glyphs: At level 15, you will be able to use your first glyphs. Glyph of Overpower is a solid choice for your major glyph. Glyph of Charge may prove useful as a minor glyph.

Rotation: At level 10, you’ll learn Defensive Stance, which you won’t use most of the time, but can be handy when you need some extra survivability. Shield Bash is learned at level 12, giving you a way to interrupt enemy spell casts, but only if you equip a shield first. Overpower is also learned at level 12 and should be used whenever it is available (right below Rend in your priority order). You’ll learn a few other abilities in this range, but you won’t be using them much as Arms.

Defense: Even if you never plan on tanking, it’s a good idea as a warrior to get in the habit of keeping a shield and a one-handed weapon in your bags. These can be swapped to even while you’re in combat for a little extra defense. Combine this with your Defensive Stance and other defensive abilities for some extra beefiness when you need it.

Here’s a macro you can use to quickly swap your stance and weapons. Just change the placeholders to the name of your weapon or shield.

#showtooltip Defensive Stance
/equipslot [noworn:shields] 16 WEAPONPLACEHOLDER
/equipslot [noworn:shields] 17 SHIELDPLACEHOLDER
/cast [nostance:2] Defensive Stance

And here’s a macro to swap back to your two-handed weapon and Battle Stance:

#showtooltip Defensive Stance
/equipslot [worn:shields] 16 WEAPONPLACEHOLDER
/cast [stance:3] Battle Stance
WoW Classic WotLK Weapon Master
See the Weapon Master in each city to learn how to use different weapons. (Image: Blizzard via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

Level 20-29

Mount: You can buy your first mount at level 20! The basic ground mount has a speed of 60% and costs five gold. Head to the starting zone or capital city for your race to purchase a mount as soon as you can – it really makes everything a lot faster and easier.


  • Level 20-21: Improved Overpower (2/2)
  • Level 22-23: Impale (2/2)
  • Level 24: Anger Management (1/1)
  • Level 25-27: Taste for Blood (3/3)
  • Level 28-29: Two-Handed Weapon Specialization (2/3)

Glyphs: You won’t unlock any new glyphs until level 30.

Rotation: You’ll learn Cleave at level 20, which you should start using in place of Heroic Strike when fighting more than two targets. Execute is learned at level 24 and should be spammed whenever an enemy is low enough for it to work, replacing Victory Rush in your rotation. At level 28, Shield Wall gives you an additional defensive ability that you can use in conjunction with a shield.

WoW Classic WotLK Orgrimmar Riding Trainer
Head back to your race’s starting zone or capital city to buy your first mount. (Image: Blizzard via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

Level 30-39


  • Level 30: Sweeping Strikes (1/1)
  • Level 31: Two-Handed Weapon Specialization (3/3)
  • Level 32-34: Deep Wounds (3/3)
  • Level 35-36: Weapon Mastery (2/2)
  • Level 37-39: Poleaxe Specialization (3/5)

Glyphs: At level 30, you can use a second major glyph. Glyph of Cleaving is an okay choice, or you can hold out for Glyph of Mortal Strike at level 40.

Rotation: At level 30, you’ll get Sweeping Strikes through talents, and you can use it on cooldown whenever you’re fighting more than one enemy. You’ll also learn Intercept, giving you a second Charge ability that also stuns the target.

You’ll also get Slam at level 30 as well, which will replace Heroic Strike in your single-target rotation. At level 32, you’ll get Berserker Rage, a solid defensive and damage cooldown on a short 30-second timer. At level 38, Pummel gives you an interrupt you can use without swapping to your shield.

WoW Classic WotLK Warrior Eating
It’s a good idea to carry plenty of food and bandages to reduce your downtime. (Image: Blizzard via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

Level 40-49

Mount: At level 40, you can upgrade your mount. An epic ground mount has a speed of 100% and costs 60 gold. You will most likely need to return to the same vendor you purchased your level 20 mount from.

Plate Armor: At level 40, you can begin using plate armor, which offers more protection than mail. It’s not urgent that you upgrade all of your mail gear right away. Continue to focus on getting the best stats. Plate just gives you more options going forward.


  • Level 40: Mortal Strike (1/1)
  • Level 41-43: Improved Slam (2/2)
  • Level 43-44: Strength of Arms (2/2)
  • Level 45: Juggernaut (1/1)
  • Level 46-47: Unrelenting Assault (2/2)
  • Level 48-49: Poleaxe Specialization (5/5)

Glyphs: You won’t unlock any new glyph slots in this level range.

Rotation: You’ll learn Mortal Strike through talents at level 40, rounding out your final rotation (except for a couple of cooldowns you’ll get later).

  1. Stay in Battle Stance at all times.
  2. Use Battle Shout before you pull.
  3. Use Charge to start the fight.
  4. Use Rend to apply/maintain the bleed on your target.
  5. Use Sweeping Strikes on cooldown if fighting more than one enemy.
  6. Use Overpower whenever it is available.
  7. Use Execute if it’s available.
  8. Use Mortal Strike on cooldown.
  9. Use Thunder Clap on cooldown.
  10. Spend any extra rage on Cleave if you’re fighting more than two targets, otherwise spend it on Slam.
WoW Classic WotLK Undercity Warrior Trainers War Quarter
Warriors can start using plate armor at level 40. (Image: Blizzard via HGG / Sarah Arnold)

Level 50-57


  • Level 50: Endless Rage (1/1)
  • Level 51-52: Blood Frenzy (2/2)
  • Level 53-54: Sudden Death (2/3)
  • Level 55-57: Wrecking Crew (3/5)

Glyphs: At level 50, you can use a second minor glyph. Glyph of Battle can be useful.

Rotation: You won’t learn much new in this level range, just passive improvements/buffs from talents. Just keep doing what you’ve been doing.

WoW Classic WotLK Weapon Racials
Keep your racial abilities in mind when choosing your weapons. (Image: Blizzard via HGG/Sarah Arnold)

Level 58-67

Zones: Head to Outland as soon as you reach level 58. The items you can get there are much better than those in the lower level zones.

Mount: At level 60, you can purchase your first flying mount. A basic flying mount has a flying speed of 150% and a ground speed of 60%, and costs 300 gold total. The Flying trainers are located in Hellfire Peninsula and Shadowmoon Valley.


  • Level 58-59: Wrecking Crew (5/5)
  • Level 60: Bladestorm (1/1)
  • Level 61: Sudden Death (3/3)
  • Level 62-66: Cruelty (5/5)
  • Level 67: Armored to the Teeth (1/3)

Glyphs: You won’t get any new glyph slots until level 70.

Rotation: You’ll get Bladestorm through talents at level 60, and should start using it whenever you use Sweeping Strikes. Thanks to the Sudden Death talent, you’ll have chances to use Execute above its usual threshold as well (and you should use it). At level 64, you’ll learn Spell Reflection, which you can use in conjunction with your shield macro to reflect an enemy spell cast.

WoW Classic WotLK Flying Riding Trainer Hellfire Peninsula
A flying mount is an expensive but worthwhile investment. (Image: Blizzard via HGG/Sarah Arnold)

Level 68-80

Zones: Head to Northrend as soon as you reach level 68. The quest rewards are much better and you can start working on the reputations you will need at level 80.

Mount: You can upgrade your flying mount at level 70 if you choose. An epic flying mount has a flying speed of 280% and a ground speed of 100%, and costs 5100 gold. But you will not be able to use it in Northrend until you train Cold Weather Flying.

This can be done at level 77 for 1000 gold, or if you already have a level 80 character, you can purchase a Tome of Cold Weather Flight for your warrior to use as early as level 68. Northrend flying trainers are located in Dalaran, Storm Peaks, and Sholazar Basin.


  • Level 68-69: Armored to the Teeth (3/3)
  • Level 70-71: Unbridled Wrath (2/2)
  • Level 72-74: Improved Cleave (3/3)
  • Level 75-76: Commanding Presence (2/5)
  • Level 77-78: Improved Execute (2/2)
  • Level 79-80: Commanding Presence (4/5)

Glyphs: At level 70, you can use a third minor glyph. Glyph of Enduring Victory is a solid option. You won’t get the third major glyph slot until level 80.

Rotation: Your rotation and cooldowns are already set, so just keep at it until you reach the level cap.

Congratulations on level 80!

WoW Classic WotLK Borean Tundra Northrend
The icy winds of Northrend await you. (Image: Blizzard via HGG/Sarah Arnold)

Join the High Ground!

Thanks for reading! Hopefully this guide has helped you with leveling your warrior through WoW Classic (WotLK). If you have any questions, leave a comment below, and be sure to subscribe to High Ground for more useful guides!

Happy gaming!

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