Key Changes to RIFT Warrior PVP Specs in Patch 1.3

There are three key changes that have dramatically impacted the range of viable PVP specs for Warriors in Patch 1.3:

  1. Strike Like Iron (SLI), which was formerly a 2-pt Paragon root ability, has been moved to a 38-pt root ability
  2. The Champion Two-Handed Specialization talent has been renamed to Weapon Specialization (WS), and the talent has changed from boosting 2H Physical damage to any damage type regardless of weapon type (2H vs DW vs 1H+shield)
  3. The Paragon Teaching of the Five Rings (TotFR) talent has been changed from boosting damage while dual wielding to boosting damage regardless of weapon type

Here, in detail, are the implications of the above changes

A. Warriors are no longer compelled to spec 2 points in Paragon just to get SLI

The 1.3 versions of the WS and TotFR talents more than offset the loss of SLI for most specs in my opinion – and this is something that many Warriors have been asking for since the game launched. As such, Warriors no longer feel compelled to put a 2-pt (or more) investment in Paragon just to get SLI, and there is a much richer variety of PVP specs that are effective now.

(I’ll add that for Riftblades prior to 1.3, SLI was not as critical as it was for Champ/Paragon-spec’d Warriors, because Riftblades had the Enhanced Burst mechanic, so Riftblades could cast Fiery Burst and gain a 30% damage increase along with the DoT damage.)

B. Riftblade damage now synergizes with the Champion and Paragon damage-boosting talents

Prior to 1.3, the Champion Two-Handed Specialization Physical-damage talent did not synergize with Riftblade’s non-Physical damage mechanics. Because of this, and the fact that Champion and Paragon were often paired together in PVP specs, the more popular PVP specs did not mesh Champion and Paragon with Riftblade.

Now Riftblade scales from both WS and TotFR, which is awesome.

The only catch is that some Riftblade AtPts finishers, e.g. Fiery Burst and Rift Surge, do not have a weapon damage component, so they will not scale with gear as effectively as the AtPts finishers from Champion and Paragon. But then again the Riftblade AtPts finishers can be cast from range and deal non-Physical damage, so from a balance perspective this may be OK. TBD.

C. Warriors can now flexibly use different weapon sets in combat

With the new WS and TotFR mechanics, Warriors are not “chained” to always using a 2H or always dual-wielding (DW) in order to gain the benefit of damage-boosting talents.

So Warriors now have much more flexibility from a mechanics standpoint to swap weapons based on the situation – e.g. 2H for burst, or DW to use the ranged Paragon attacks, or 1H+shield for the increased survivability and Paladin reactives.


Warrior has come a long way in terms of design and balance from 1.1 to 1.3. Warrior still feel a bit squishy in PVP, but they can now bring the pain much more effectively than before, and there is a wider variety of specs that have synergy between talent trees.

Prior to 1.3, the non-Warrior classes IMO were far more effective without a pocket healer, and you would typically see more of those classes at the top of the scoreboards in terms of damage and killing.

In 1.3, the distribution of classes that are at the top of the scoreboards for those columns is much more diverse, which is an indication to me that balance is improving.

Posted in PVP, RIFT, Warrior
15 comments on “Key Changes to RIFT Warrior PVP Specs in Patch 1.3
  1. Bigblack says:

    Good to see you back! Would you be so kind as to post your 2h, dw and SnB spec and macro updates? After your testing of course. Thanks for all you do. B

  2. Derezzed says:

    I can tell you that I held off from PvP for a long time because of 1.2 and that in 1.3 I have dropped off the PVE scene pretty hard. Gotta see your solo build and how its holding up, I am currently loving the dual wield bc of how hard it crits.

  3. Jaguaro says:

    Will u be posting more vids of ur new 1.3?

  4. Ozrek says:

    I know this isn’t related to RIFT, and I’m sorry for that. I felt it necessary to say thanks for all the months of teaching me how to play Prot PVP spec in wow. It helped me become a better player and have a lot more fun with the game. Obviously, we all know how it turned out, but I wanted to say thanks personally to you. I really appreciated you videos and guides. I hope you are having fun in Rift, take care!

  5. WarGod says:

    Nic :

    Check this thread out……&highlight=kutsuu

    I’m thinking you might want to post that in a PVE Blog?

  6. Warzdak says:

    Taug! It’s Warz, you and the wife ok bud? Email me!

  7. Nothing says:

    Taug can you please post your new Macro’s for this build?

  8. Nic says:

    You need a build first though, right? Here is what I’ve been using.

    As always, you cannot gain something without sacrifice. The combo of Rings and WP adds 60% melee damage. Bend like the Reed gives you another 50% every minute, and the parry will help with 1v2 melee brawls. What is lost is a lot of RB points. I supplement the loss of improved riftwalk with Ruthless Pursuit. I can easily cut fork because I personally hate it. One of the biggest losses is Wind Spear. This is another build for the more kiting/aoe RB type. Path of the Tempest could help for a deathblow-like ranged finisher.

    I personally prefer the chained crits and huge melee DPS of the first build. Also, fleet of foot saves my ass/closes ground like a champ. I like to put my reactives at the end of macros to possibly get off another Fiery Burst or a deathblow for a bigger suprise when the reactives hit. This is my spam macro.

    #show flamespear
    cast flamespear
    cast path of the raptor
    cast path of the wind
    cast frost strike
    cast searing strike
    cast turn the blade
    cast inescapable fury
    cast rising waterfall

    Ranged attacks are a lot more dps here as you cast both paths while flamespear is on cooldown. I find this jacks up attack points super fast, especially with Weapon Master from Paragon. Timing flamespear to go off with Fiery Burst adds a bit of trickiness though, because you frequently get 3 attack points before flamespear cools down. Rotate Bend like the Reed and Fiery Burst the rest of the time.

    • Nothing says:

      Nic that macro doesn’t make any sense. First of all, by the time you get to frost strike, flamespear is already up and therefore you wont even cast that searing strike. Turn the blade and inescapable fury have to proc and need to be in the beginning otherwise they will never be used.

      • Nic says:

        Here is the damage summary:

        flamespear = 155-159
        path of the raptor = 101-105 +120% of weapon
        path of the wind = 123-127
        frost strike = 121-125
        searing strike = 81-85

        If flamespear is in fact going off again before searing strike, isn’t that a good thing?

        Also, procs go off during GCD after any of one of these abilities are cast.

  9. rpgsearcherz says:

    There were some changes because of patch 1.3 but they were for the better. With the DPS build I use now I pull 20%+ more DPS than I did prior to 1.3, even with the same exact gear. So yes, there were changes, but they weren’t necessarily bad.

    I’ve noticed a lot of people keep straying away from pet-based builds (for DPS reasons) but they still have their use — especially in some raids like Johlen in GSB.

    The builds I use are available in my strategy guide at . I keep everything fully updated with each patch as well, so all builds and gear listings are up to date as of 1.3.

  10. Nothing says:

    Im refering to the most recent build Taugrim posted: build

    • Nic says:

      Ah, that’s very similar to the second build in my post (If you were replying to me.) I personally would prefer and extra 7% damage all the time from 5 points in weapon specialization than a procced 1% crit chance from flowing strikes, although I do like enhanced burst better than empowered strike, actually.

  11. Kyutaru says:

    Never dual wield unless you’re a paragon spec. Two-hander weapon swap macros using equipslot 8 works fine.

    38 Rb/20 Ch/8 Pal

    Live it, Learn it, Love it. The best of what’s good, none of what’s bad.

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