PvE Demonology Warlock Stat Priority & Reforging

PvE Demonology Warlock Stat Priority & Reforging
  • Author: Luxrah
  • Date: May 27, 2024
  • Updated: May 27, 2024
  • Expansion: Cataclysm

Before you can start kitting out your character you’ll need to know what your stat priority is so you can select the appropriate gear, gems, enchants, and consumables. Demonology Warlocks have a couple of stat caps to worry about as well, with the value of those stats dropping significantly once the caps are reached.

Stat Priority

  1. Intellect
  2. Hit to cap
  3. Haste to cap
  4. Mastery
  5. Haste beyond cap
  6. Critical Strike

Intellect is your primary stat and will always be the most important stat for a Demonology Warlock as the main source of your Spell Power and mana pool. Intellect also increases your Critical Strike.

Hit is vital until you reach the cap, which is 17%. After that it is completely useless, but until then it is just as valuable as Intellect. Not being Hit capped means that your attacks may not land, which means any stats that would improve their damage are wasted. To reach the 17% Hit cap, you’ll need 1742 Hit Rating, or 1640 Hit Rating if you’re a Draenei (thanks to their Heroic Presence racial). This will ensure that you never miss even when facing raid bosses. Note that you no longer have access to Suppression or any Hit bonuses from allies. Each 102.45 Hit Rating you gain results in a 1% increase to your Hit Chance.

Haste  is extremely valuable up to the point where you can reach one of the soft caps, but any extra Haste beyond those caps drops below Mastery in value. Every point of Haste will give you a tiny increase to your casting speed, but the soft caps are the points at which you will gain extra ticks from your DoTs over their duration. Here are those caps for Demonology Warlocks and the DoTs they affect:

When calculating your Haste, keep in mind that you should be maintaining Dark Intent at all times, which gives you 3% Haste. Goblins get 1% Haste through their Time is Money racial. You can also get 5% Haste from any of the following raid buffs:

You need about 128 Haste Rating for every 1% increase. It takes 1007 Haste Rating to reach 16.7% with Dark Intent and one of the raid buffs above (870 for Goblins). This will be your soft cap target for the first phase of Cataclysm.

Mastery is the most stackable stat for a Demonology Warlock once your Hit and Haste caps have been reached. Each point of Mastery improves your Master Demonologist passive effect, buffing the damage of your pets as well as your own Metamorphosis form.

Critical Strike is your weakest stat, so you’ll generally want to replace or Reforge it with something better. If there are no better options it’s still an increase to your damage, especially now that your DoT effects can crit.

Spirit is not at all useful to caster DPS in Cataclysm and is now purely a healer stat, so you should avoid it if possible.


Reforging is a new feature in Cataclysm that allows you to trade out part of one secondary stat for another on any piece of gear. You won’t be able to get Intellect this way (or get rid of another stat like Agility or Stamina), but you can fine-tune your secondary stats to your heart’s content.

Demonology Warlocks will want to Reforge any Mastery or Critical Strike on their gear to Hit if they still need it, or to Haste otherwise. Later on when you reach the Haste soft cap, you can Reforge some back to Mastery.


About the Author


I've been playing World of Warcraft on and off since vanilla, usually as a healer or caster and often as a guild leader. I play both retail and classic. I also love RPGs, sandboxes, and sims.
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