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12.23.2011 , 01:55 AM | #4
Nerd Rage is Best Rage

Or, How to Not Suck at Playing a Rage Marauder

By Kiba

What is Rage?

Rage is one of the three trees available to Marauders and is also the tree we share with our Juggernaut brothers. It plays in Shii-Cho (our shared stance), is extremely straightforward and revolves heavily around the mantra "build Rage, spend Rage."

Rage utilizes Force Crush and Force Choke to increase the damage of Smash which just so happens to be an instant-crit when used shortly after Charge or Obliterate. It provides decent single-target damage with phenomenal AoE potential.


The Rage tree, like Carnage and Annihilation, is quite straightforward in terms of which talents are optimal for PvE. My sample spec is this.

Key Talents:

Obliterate: A secondary, 10m range Charge. During a boss fight this will be your main source of Dominate.

Dominate: When you use Charge or Obliterate your next smash will be an instant crit; 15 second duration.

Shockwave: Every damage tick of Choke and Crush increases the damage of your next smash by 25%, stacking up to 4 times (maximum of 100%).

Dark Resonance: Gives 30% Force critical strike damage increase. Instant Smash crits that deal 100% more base damage. Yeah.

Force Crush: The bread and butter ability of Rage (and quite amazing for PvP) Crush will be the main applicator of the Shockwave buff due to its cooldown compared to Choke. It deals damage over time culminating with a large burst of damage at the end. In addition, it slows targets progressively from 60% to 10% movement speed; this obviously has no effect on bosses.

Gravity: Put simply, reduces Crush's Rage cost by 1 (total of 3). Take this so Crush can be used right after Charge.

Other Important Talents:

Relentless Fury: Predation is a very nice cooldown; if you're put in the tank's group you'll be invaluable for high-damage phases.

Shii-Cho Mastery: You're going to be in Shii-Cho form; passive armor pen is nice since Smash is reduced by armor.

Enraged Slash: Very valuable for Rage; Shii-Cho's berserk removes Vicious Slash's Rage cost, therefore while using Berserk you'll actually get 1 Rage every time you use it. Berserk = gives 6 Rage = very, very valuable.

Undying/Interceptor: Due to wanting to take Gravity these are two filler talents that you can choose to only put one point in. Interceptor gives a 20%/40% speed increase for 5 seconds after using Obliterate and Undying gives a passive 1%/2% damage reduction and 15/30 second reduced cooldown on Undying Rage. Which you value two points in is a matter of personal preference.

The above spec is, of course, including the filler skill points. Below are the ones I feel are viable for end-game, marked with my *personal favorites. The placement of them is completely a personal decision.

*Strangulate: Both this and Payback are complete filler and don't provide any direct damage/utility bonus. Only a few fights have CCs for Payback and only a few fights have pushback for Strangulate. It's personal preference.

*Payback: Both this and Strangulate are complete filler and don't provide any direct damage/utility bonus. Only a few fights have CCs for Payback and only a few fights have pushback for Strangulate. It's personal preference.

Cloak of Carnage: Cloak generates 1 rage when it reciprocates damage, 3 second cool-down. Okay on any AoE that procs it and it's decent if you're off-tanking anything, however it would easily turn Cloak into a DPS cooldown and healers will hate you for it: you shouldn't be standing in fire.

Defensive Roll: The only damage you'll be taking in an Operation should be AoE, this reduces all AoE damage by 30%. Pretty damn nice.

Enraged Charge: Charge generates one extra Rage. Compared to other things for Rage this is very lackluster.

Narrowed Hatred: You may be saying: Kiba you dumb@ss, why would you not take an Accuracy talent in a PvE spec? My answer is one of lack of necessity. If we had no Accuracy on gear and relied solely on dropped enhancements to get it Narrowed Hatred would be a godsend. At this point it's very easy to get the extra 8% Accuracy you need. Therefore, I feel that 3 points in this is a bit of a waste compared to other talents.

*Defensive Forms: Makes up for the lack of Defensive Roll/Hungering for raid survivability.

*Quick Recovery: As you can see by my cookie-cutter spec above this is by far my favorite filler talent. It comes down to this or Narrowed Hatred and, once you get enough Accuracy on your gear, this completely overshadows everything. Not even for the reduced cool down (your Smashes are based around Shockwave, not Smash's cooldown) but the reduced Rage cost means more Rage can be spent on filler damage (Vicious Slash) thus increasing overall damage once you're passed the Accuracy cap. Very, very strong skill for Rage.

Rotation (Or Lack There-of)

Rage, like Carnage and Annihilation, relies on a priority.

To make it less confusing, the opening rotation should look something like this:

Charge -> Crush -> Battering Assault -> (4x Shockwave) Smash

You can supplement Scream before the Smash if you have the Rage for it and don't yet have 4xShockwave.

The mid-fight priority isn't really a priority, per se: it completely revolves around your buffed Smash. Therefore, it looks kind of like this:

Crush-Smash > Choke-Smash > Berserk-Slash > Battering Assault > Scream > Vicious Slash > Ravage

The Smash rotations involve stacking 4xShockwave and using Obliterate before Smashing.

As soon as your Crush-Smash is done start timing a Choke/Obliterate in order to be able to uber-Smash again when Smash gets off CD.

Due to the passive armor penetration Ravage isn't too bad but I would only use it while Battering Assault is on CD and you don't have enough Rage to Vicious Slash (Assault is bleh imo).

Pretty obvious, however you will, at some point, use Bloodthirst instead of a Berserk for a raid-wide burn phase. Know when it's coming and have the Fury for it.

Stat Priority

Strength: Our Primary stat. Increases damage and critical chance with melee and Force powers. You want to maximize this.

Endurance: Lets you stand in fire longer. You want it, but don't go out of your way. Your job is to kill things.

Willpower: You don't want it, Inquisitors will kill you.

Aim: You don't want it, Bounty Hunters will kill you.

Cunning: You don't want it, Agents will kill you.

((This section will need to be updated as more information becomes available, but as of now this will probably be the best allocation.))

Secondary stats available are:

Accuracy: Increases chance for attacks to hit; over 100% it reduces the target's defense (dodge/parry).

Power: Increases damage done by melee and Force attacks.

Critical: Increases critical strike chance.

Surge: Increases critical strike damage bonus.

Alacrity: Reduces activation time. (There is much debate on whether or not this does/should affect the base GCD (for us attack speed) however at this point evidence is pointing to it only affecting the GCD on activated abilities (for us Ravage) and is therefore pretty terrible.

As for priorities, at this point I've been able to piece together this:

Before Crit/Surge Diminishing Return Cap (~30% Crit, ~30% Surge):

Accuracy to 108% > Surge/Crit > Power

After Reaching Diminishing Return Cap:

Accuracy to 108% > Power > Surge/Crit

The weights themselves are a bit misleading due to Crit and Surge's heavy Diminishing Returns. At around ~30% Crit and ~30% Surge (~80% Crit Multiplier) both stats reach soft caps where getting any more Crit or Surge Rating would not yield as much of an increase as it normally would.

Therefore, after reaching those two 'caps' it's advised to swap your priorities to maximize your Power. This is un-buffed as flat percentage increases from buffs does not add to the DR at all; it's based on your rating.

What it comes down to is reaching our Main Hand hit cap before adding anything else.

All Special attacks (everything but Assault) have a base 100% chance to hit. It is currently theorized that bosses have an 8% Defense chance (parry/deflect). By increasing our Accuracy to 108% we negate the Defense chance for our special abilities (Smash, Vicious Slash, Obliterate, etc, can no longer be dodged/parried/resisted). Any Accuracy over 108% only increases Assault's chance to be dodged/parried, and is therefore quite lackluster compared to other stats.

Surge should be brought up to the ~30% DR area as quickly as possible. Insanely powerful Smash crits are the pride and joy of Rage; getting those as big as possible is your top priority.

Crit should be brought up to the 30% DR area as quickly as possible. This affects Scream, Crush and Choke heavily due to the passive 30% Force crit bonus from Dark Resonance but Vicious Slash, Ravage, Battering Assault and Obliterate couldn't hurt from critting as well.

Power is by far one of the Marauder's strongest stats. It's our Attack Power and Spell Power stat rolled into one so, obviously, every one of our attacks benefits from this. Don't sacrifice a lot of it for a little Crit or Surge, but know that getting to those DR points is fairly important.


Rage is fun. Big numbers, bigger numbers in groups, and a very easy and straightforward playstyle. It brings a massive amount of passive damage reduction plus a reduced cooldown to Undying Rage make us incredibly hard to kill - rage-inducing even. I find that in-between Smashes its damage potential drops quite a bit but you shouldn't have any problem pulling your weight.
The Aurion Legacy