Carnage Marauder PvE DPS Guide

Welcome to my Carnage Marauder DPS Guide for PvE!

Last UPDATED: 25/03/2016 – NOT UPDATED FOR 5.0 YET

I will keep this guide updated as best I can, particularly the gearing section.

Disclaimer: I definitely am not the best at this class. I have however been playing it for quite a while and find it to be a highly enjoyable spec. I’d like to think I at least know a little bit about playing the class.

Hopefully, this guide can help get you started with learning how the class works. There are other skill sets needed to excel at DPSing in a raid environment which I’ll talk about later. But first up, I can help by highlighting the most useful abilities and utilities for Carnage Marauders.

Key DPS Abilities

: Gap closing ability.
: Gives you 30% alacrity.
: Builds 6 Rage.
: Builds 6 stacks of Rage.
: Big hitting DPS ability.
: Increases armor penetration.
: Big hitting DPS ability.
: Can proc and be used if target has more than 30% health.
: A minor AOE which also generates Rage.
: Secondary gap closing ability.

Key Defensive Cooldowns

: A defensive cooldown which also does some DPS.
: Increases defenses and reduces damage taken.
: Makes you practically immune to damage for short duration.

Additional Key Abilities

: Instantly gives you 30 stacks of Fury.
: Raid wide speed boost and defense ability.
: Raid wide Healing and Dps buff.

Carnage Marauder Utilities

Utilities Explained


  • Cloak of Carnage: Increases damage dealt by Cloak of Pain by 15% and increases it’s duration by 4 seconds. When you have Cloak of Pain active it does damage to your target while it’s active.
  • Brazen: Increases your damage reduction by 2% and you build 2 Fury when attacked. The Fury building effect cannot occur more than once every 1.5 seconds. Anything to help you build more Fury is handy.
  • Cloak of Rage: While Cloak of Pain is active, it generates 1 rage whenever you are attacked. This effect can not occur more than once every 2 seconds. Anything to help you build more Fury is good.


  • Relentless: Predation no longer requires or consumes Fury, but will go on cooldown for 30 seconds when activated. Having Predation on a cooldown instead of having to use 30 stacks of Fury means you can always save your Fury for Berserk.
  • Subjugation: Reduces the cooldown of Obfuscate by 15 seconds and Disruption by 2 seconds. Reducing the cooldown of your interrupt is very useful and essential for certain boss fights.

Heroic (you can only have two, swap between them depending on the encounter)

  • Expunging Camouflage: Force Camouflage removes all cleansable effects when activated. Basically makes Force Camouflage a Cleanse which is very handy for some boss fights.
  • Cloak of Annihilation: Each use of Assault, Battering Assault and Crippling Slash reduces the active cooldown of Cloak of Pain by 3 seconds. Using those abilities reduces the cooldown of Cloak of Pain which means doing more damage.
  • Unbound: When Predation is applied or refreshed, it purges movement-impairing effects. Additionally, the movement speed bonus of Predation is increased by 30%. Basically this gives you a raid wide purge.
  • Brooding: In addition, you can build up to 30 stacks of Fury over the course of using Channel Hatred. This effect cannot occur more than once every 30 seconds. Basically makes it so you can build stacks of Fury using Channel Hatred or any Health Regen ability.

Rotations and Priorities

Before each boss fight starts, there is one key thing you need to do. Build up 30 stacks of Fury. If you speced your Utilities right, you can use any restore health ability (the standard one for Marauders is Channel Hatred) to build up 30 stacks.

Basically there are two different rotations. One rotation for building up stacks of Fury so you can use Berserk and the other is your Berserk rotation. The Opening Rotation I use at the beginning of most boss fights includes both rotations.

Opening Rotation: Berserk -> Twin Saber Throw -> Force Leap -> Cloak of Pain -> Frenzy -> Bloodthirst -> Battering Assault -> Massacre -> Gore -> Devastating Blast -> Ravage -> Massacre -> Massacre -> Battering Assault -> Vicious Throw (if it’s proced) -> Massacre -> Gore -> Devastating Blast -> Dual Saber Throw -> Massacre -> Massacre -> Vicious Throw (if it’s proced) -> Berserk -> Battering Assault -> Massacre -> Gore -> Devastating Blast -> Ravage.

Berserk Rotation: Berserk -> Battering Assault -> Massacre -> Gore -> Devastating Blast -> Ravage.

Rough Filler Rotation (while building stacks of Frenzy): Massacre -> Massacre -> Assault &/or Battering Assault -> Massacre -> Gore -> Devastating Blast -> Dual Saber Throw -> Massacre -> Massacre -> Vicious Throw (if it’s proced) -> Assault -> Assault -> Battering Assault -> Massacre -> Massacre (you may need to throw in Assault if Focus is low & use Vicious Throw whenever it proc’s).

Abilities that build up Frenzy:

  • Massacre
  • Devastating Blast
  • Vicious Throw

Abilities that build up Rage:

  • Battering Assault
  • Twin Saber Throw
  • Assault


Use Cloak of Pain whenever it is off cooldown or save it for a phase when you know there will be raid wide damage going out.

In phases where you have to move around a lot to avoid taking damage, you can still keep up your DPS quite easily. Almost all of your key abilities don’t have a cast so you can move around and DPS just be sure to stay within 10 meters of the boss. You just have to be careful with timing Ravage so you don’t take damage.

Remember your Predation is not only a speed buff for the whole raid, it also is a raid wide defensive cooldown that increases melee and ranged defense by 10%.


With the stat changes in 4.0, it is now more important to get your secondary stats optimised and not worry too much about how much Mastery or Power you have. The stats you want to aim for are:

  • ~1300 Critical Rating
  • ~720 Accuracy Rating
  • ~600+ Alacrity

I am not full 224 BIS (best in slot) yet so won’t be posting my exact stats until then. Currently my gear is a mix of 220/224. But this is what you should be aiming for:

6 Set Piece: Ultimate Exarch Weaponmasters

Weaponmasters 6 Set Bonus
Weaponmasters 6 Set Bonus

Relics: Ultimate Exarch Serendipitous Assault and Focused Retribution

Implants and Earpiece: Adept & Initiative (no numbering/lettering is BIS)

Augments: Are currently a mix of Critical, Accuracy and Alacrity. This will change as I BIS more.

Raiding Tips and Survival Strategies

Situational Awareness: This is also a very crucial skill. Not just being aware of your surroundings, there’s more to it then that. As a melee DPS it is absolutely essential that your are fully aware of what is happening in the raid. You can avoid taking damage 95% of the time by not standing in stupid! Most damage that DPS receive is inflicted on themselves because they are not aware of raid mechanics, they don’t pay attention to their surroundings and they stand somewhere or do something they are not supposed to do!

Know the Boss Fights and Mechanics: Read up or watch video’s on the various Operations encounters. You may just be a DPS but your role is just as crucial as that of a Healer or Tank. You have to know when to move, know the mechanics so you can react quickly and know when you can and can not effectively DPS. Know when tanks have to swap and healers are pressured so you can help ease their burden.

Positioning: NEVER EVER STAND IN FRONT OF THE BOSS! Always stand BEHIND the boss!

Survival Cooldowns: Save Saberward for phases when there is a decent amount of raid damage happening. For any oh shit moments use Undying Rage.

UI and Keybindings

I use a Logitech G600 Mouse which means I have 24 key bindings at my disposal. So I set up my UI to mimic the layout of the keys on the mouse.

Mara UI

Set up your UI in a way you feel is comfortable for your play style. I have my defensive cooldowns, stun, interrupt, an AOE ability in the exact same spot on all my characters. I also use the C key as it is easy for me to reach. Also have your Medpacs and Adrenals in easy reach, they are needed in certain boss encounters.

Prioritise your important abilities to the easiest to press positions. You do not need every single possible ability you have for your class on your quickbars so be smart. You should not have to use every single quickbar slot on all 6 quickbars for any class. You’ll notice that I have only 5 quickbars and almost 2 of them have slots are filled with fluff.

Target of Target and Focus Target

As part of the UI, you have the option to show Target of Target and Focus Target. Both of these can be very handy UI additions to have in certain fights. To enable Focus Target go into Preferences -> Gerneral -> then click Enable Focus Target.

Enabling Focus Target.
Enabling Focus Target.

To get Target of Target to show up go into your interface editor, then you should find a box that says Target of Target. This is very handy for knowing who has aggro on the boss.

Main UI Elements to play around with.
Main UI Elements to play around with.

Be sure to spend sometime playing around with the various settings in the Interface Editor. Especially for the Operations frame and Player Frame. You may want to increase the size of player buffs and debuffs in the Player Buff Tray and click Show Information Text to get your health to show up as a percentage. Note any UI elements that show up in Red in the Interface Editor are not enabled and you have to click on them and tick Enable to get them to show up.

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My PvE Experience

Well.. I’ve never been part of any world or server firsts or any really hard core raid groups. I’m honestly more of a PvPer then a PvEer, but I do enjoy occasionally doing some Operations with my Guild. Most of my raiding experience has been as a Commando/Mercenary Healer. Pre 2.0 I almost cleared HM TFB (didn’t do last boss cause we were lazy) on a Sentinel. Post 2.0 didn’t have a raid group for a bit. In the months leading up to 3.0, we cleared HM DF and HM DP I was on a Mercenary or Commando Healer. Post 3.0 we did HM Ravagers and cleared Quartermaster Bulo by February 2015 and first boss of HM ToS, again I was on my Commando Healer. Than shortly after our raid group fell apart. I did gradually clear through NIM EC, TFB and S&V casually with my guild around mid 2015. Post 4.0 I started raiding on my Marauder. I cleared HM TFB, HM S&V (except last boss) and HM EC (except Kephess) before the December holiday period. Than the group fell apart. We’ve just now rebuilt the group and are once again clearing HM TFB and are now clearing HM S&V. So fingers crossed this group stays together for a while.

Final Thoughts

The key to being a good player is knowing which abilities are useful to your spec, when to use the ones that are useful and how to best use all your abilities. As a DPS this involves knowing when and how to effectively DPS, knowing mechanics so you can make adjustments to your DPS and knowing when to use your secondary abilities/utilities. Most of that comes with experience and practice.

Thank you for reading my guide! If you have any tips, suggestions or questions about my guide, let me know/ask!

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  • patjay68

    HI Xam Xam. This is the first time I read a tutorial that makes me motivated to played carnage skill again. I tried a few times, and I never succeeded with it, as I seemed to always died before DOT end their action :-p . Besides I have to admit that I am a very “average medium” player.
    I also find interesting your way of setting up your interface. Again thank you for all those usefull tips.
    PS : as you already noticed, my English might not be completely understandable, as it’s not my native language 😉 …