An unfortunate habit in the analysis of Heroic Strike and Cleave is the incorrect usage of its Damage-per-Rage as a method of calculating its efficiency. As a Warrior improves the quality of their gear, the speed at which they generate Rage improves as well. With Heroic Strike and Cleave, however, the cost of the ability will also increase with gear, due to the fact that they will also remove the rage that would have been generated by one White damage Swing.
Although the total cost of a Heroic Strike or Cleave is often said to be "Tooltip Rage + White Rage," this is only partially true. Unlike Heroic Strike, Cleave functions like two abilities being used simultaneously, one of which converts the Tooltip Rage cost into additional Damage, and the other of which sacrifices White Rage for additional Weapon Damage.
Heroic Strike as DPS: Edit
A maxed rank of Heroic Strike converts 15 rage into 176 damage and 196 Threat, or 11.73 damage and 24.8 Threat per rage. At the same time, however, it cancels the next source of White rage. As the value of White rage increases, both the rate at which rage is generated and the total cost of the Heroic Strike will increase as well. For this reason, Heroic Strike has "Diminishing Scalability" (reduced benefit from gear as gear improves) when used for DPS. As your White damage improves, more of your normal Weapon Swings may be converted into Heroic Strikes, but will never be able to reach 100%. On an imaginary speed 2.6 weapon, this would look like this:
- 5 rage per Swing: up to 1 out of every 4 Swings can be a Heroic Strike, or 25.00% for 16.92 additional DPS.
- 6 rage per Swing: up to 2 out of every 7 Swings can be a Heroic Strike, or 28.57% for 19.34 additional DPS.
- 7 rage per Swing: up to 7 out of every 22 Swings can be a Heroic Strike, or 31.82% for 21.54 additional DPS.
- 8 rage per Swing: up to 8 out of every 23 Swings can be a Heroic Strike, or 34.78% for 23.55 additional DPS.
- 9 rage per Swing: up to 3 out of every 8 Swings can be a Heroic Strike, or 37.50% for 25.38 additional DPS.
Heroic Strike as TPS: Edit
While Tanking, the vast majority of your rage will be generated not by dealing damage, but by taking it. With an average tanking Weapon Speed of 1.6, this caps its Threat generation at 232.5 TPS, when every normal White Swing is converted into a Heroic Strike.
Unfortunately, unlike DPS warriors who will produce more rage as their gear improves, A well-Geared tank will take less damage and therefore gain less rage on Hits. In this situation, Heroic Strike has "Negative Scalability" (reduced overall effectiveness as gear improves), and becomes less effective the better your gear becomes. Even if one assumes that a tank will be entering higher Raids as their gear improves and therefore generate a similar amount of rage from taking damage, Heroic Strike only retains a status of "No Scalability" (effectiveness remains the same as gear improves) as a source of Threat.
Cleave as DPS: Edit
A maxed rank of Cleave used against two or more Targets will convert 20 rage into 140 additional damage and 130 Threat, or 7 damage and 6.5 Threat per rage, and like Heroic Strike will prevent the next White swing from generating rage. Unlike Heroic Strike, however, the warrior's next White swing will do twice it's normal damage, spread between the two targets. As a level 70 warrior will produce one point of rage per approximately ever 75 damage dealt, this can be viewed as a simple 75 damage per rage conversion, beating some of the most efficient warrior abilities (Compare to a single use of Execute Rank 7, which gives 61.33 damage per rage for the first 15 rage, and 21 damage for each remaining point of rage.) It is for this reason that Cleave will be more effective with a slower weapon, as the higher a weapon's single-stroke damage is, the more rage is focused into Cleave's most efficient aspect.
Because it will always convert White rage directly into damage at a flat rate, but can be used more often the greater the warrior's White rage, Cleave has "Diminishing Compound Scalability" (benefit from gear increases as gear improves, but the increase in benefit gradually diminishes) when used as DPS. Filling the amount of White damage required to generate the White rage used in the Heroic Strike table and converting it into a Cleave Table looks like this:
- 5 rage per swing (33 White damage): up to 1 out of every 5 Swings can be a Cleave, or 20.00% for 13.30 additional DPS.
- 6 rage per swing (106 White damage): up to 3 out of every 13 Swings can be a Cleave, or 23.08% for 21.85 additional DPS.
- 7 rage per swing (180 White damage): up to 7 out of every 27 Swings can be a Cleave, or 25.93% for 31.86 additional DPS.
- 8 rage per swing (253 White damage): up to 2 out of every 7 Swings can be a Cleave, or 28.57% for 43.16 additional DPS.
- 9 rage per swing (326 White damage): up to 9 out of every 29 Swings can be a Cleave, or 31.03% for 55.62 additional DPS.
Cleave as TPS: Edit
If the same assumption is made about Cleave that was made about Heroic Strike, in that rage generation does not increase as a tank's gear improves, then the Threat produced by Cleave will increase in direct proportion to the increase in gear quality, due to the fact that there will be a steady increase in Threat generated from the extra weapon damage. In this case, Cleave will have "Direct Scalability" (maintains a steady benefit from gear) when used as a tanking tool.
By quick glance at the above table, it only takes approximately 100 White damage to make Cleave more rage efficient than Heroic Strike for damage. Also, if you were to calculate the Threat generated by each Ability using the same tables above keyed for a speed 1.6 tanking weapon, approximately 250 White damage will make Cleave more efficient for Threat as well.
Bottom Line: Cleave is more efficient than Heroic Strike in most all situations in which a rage dump is needed while DPSing two or more Mobs. It will, however, require fairly efficient gear in order to be more effective for tanking as well.
(rage Generation Calculated using the current WoWWiki Rage Generation Formulas.)
Qlmmb2086 05:52, 13 December 2007 (UTC)