PvE Demonology Warlock Stat Priority

wotlk pve demonology warlock stat priority

In this section of the guide we will go over all the different stats that our character can come across on gear, gems, buffs, and consumables. What their effects are, how relevant, and how to prioritize each of these for us Warlocks

Essential for any caster is being able to hit the target with your damage-dealing spells and debuffs. In previous expansions, there was an initial 1% miss chance on targets that could not be overcome. Luckily for us, this got removed in Wrath of the Lich King.

Another thing that changed around big time for Warlocks is the change of Fel Armor giving spell power based on the amount of spirit that you have. Additionally Glyph of Life Tap got added further increasing the value of spirit. All this makes spirit not a half-bad attribute to have for warlocks, instead of being a healer-specific stat.

Stat Priority

  1. Hit Rating
    • Cap: 446 rating versus a boss without any additional hit chance –– read below for more information
  2. Spell Power
  3. Spirit
  4. Haste Rating
  5. Crit Rating
  6. Intellect
  7. Stamina

Stat Explanations

Hit rating is incredibly valuable due to the simple fact that it increases the odds of you landing the spells that you cast. This directly increases the damage you deal, because after all, a spell that misses its mark by a mile doesn’t deal any damage. However, there is a limit on the amount of DPS we can gain from hit rating, because a spell won’t land twice if we only cast it once. In other words, hit rating has a maximum or cap amount that benefits us.

The amount of hit rating that is required to reach the hit cap is dependent on the level of the target that we face, and how much hit chance we get from talents (suppresion) or buffs (draenei racial) or how much the miss chance is reduced by debuffs (misery and imp. ff these do not stack). Below you can see all different possible scenarios based on these variables and how much hit rating you would need to reach hit cap in those situations.

Hit Chance
lvl 82
lvl 81
lvl 80
Miss Chance
0% – No extra hit chance
1% – Heroic Presence
3% – 3/3 Suppression or Imp FF or misery
6% – 3/3 Suppression & Imp FF or misery

Spell power is essential to any and all magic users, independent of the magic school they prefer. Every spell has a specific spell coefficient that determines how much of your total spell power gets carried over to the spells damage component. Additionally, part of your highest spell power school gets carried over to your demon pet to further increase their spell power and attack power.

In Wrath of the Lich King spell damage and healing power both get merged into spell power, and a lot of items with school-specific damage get converted to normal spell power (exceptions apply like Flame Cap).

Spell Power is extra valuable for Demonology Warlocks as essentially 10% of your spell power gets carried over to every caster in the raid thanks to Demonic Pact. This means essentially that the value of your spell power = whatever DPS you gain from it + 10% of what any other caster gains from spell power. This makes it not too hard to see how spell power is easily double the worth compared to other warlock specializations, especially in 25-mans where more casters will be present.

One of the base attributes that saw a big overhaul and as such relevance for Warlocks come Wrath of the Lich King is spirit. Spirit used to be seen as a healer dominant stat to increase their mana regeneration abilities. In Wrath Warlocks Fel Armor gets changed to provide spell power based on the amount of spirit that you have, 30% (39% with Demonic Aegis) to be exact. Glyph of Life Tap does the same thing in essence providing us with a buff that lasts for 40-seconds and turns 20% of spirit into spell power.

  • 1 Spirit = 0.59 Spell Power with Fel Armor (+ 3/3 Demonic Aegis) & Glyph of Life Tap (0.30 * 1.3 + 0.20)
  • 1 Spirit = 0.649 spell power when the above is combined with Blessing of Kings (1.1 * (0.39 + 0.20))

This high amount of spell power from spirit in combination with Demonic Pact makes it increasingly valuable from a raid-wide DPS perspective. From a personal DPS point of view, you could argue that critical strike and haste rating will provide more, but at the cost of raid support.

Haste rating increases the speed by which we casts our spells. Every 32.8 haste rating increases our casting speed by an extra 1%. All of this happens after other things that directly modify the time it takes to cast a spell (such as talents: Bane). Haste also stacks with other cast speed-increasing buffs such as Heroism, Decimation, Molten Core, etc.

If we take Shadow Bolt for example which has a base cast speed of 3 seconds. This gets reduced by 0.5 seconds thanks to bane. For simplification’s sake, we can say we have enough haste to increase our casting speed by 20 % (656 haste rating). The math for this would be:

Cast time = ( 3 Shadow Bolt – 0.5 bane ) / 1.2 haste = 2.08
Heroism = 2.08 / 1.3 = 1.6

When we critically hit with a spell they deal increased damage. For most spells this is 150% of the normal damage the spell would deal, Ruin makes this 200% for Destruction Spells. Not all spells that we use can critically hit, this is mostly reserved to direct damage-dealing spells whilst damage-over-time abilities and channeled abilities can not crit (exception being Corr and UA through Pandemic for Affliction Warlocks).

Every class has some inherent crit chance and we also gain some crit chance from our big brain intellect, and talents. The majority however comes from critical strike rating on our gear, consumes, and buffs.

  • 1% Critical Strike Chance = ~45.9 Critical Strike Rating

It should be noted that spirit and crit rating are close in value early on with spirit even being stronger in pre-bis, the more we get geared the more valuable crit rating becomes. In practice we hardly ever have to make a straight tradeoff on items between spirit and crit rating, this note is mostly included for completionism.

Intellect increases our mana pool as well as slightly increases our critical hit chance A niche trivia is that it also increases the odds of us leveling up our weapon skills. Aside from that one of the most important things for Demonology Warlocks is that our pets inherent 30% of our intellect, which in turn gives them more mana/spell critical chance and us more spell power via Demonic Knowledge. Things like Blessing of Kings, and Fel Vitality all play into this as well.

  • 1 intellect = 15 mana
  • 166.667 intellect = 1% critical hit chance
  • 1 intellect = 0.3 int for our demon, 0.345 with 3/3 Fel Vitality
  • 1 intellect = 0.036 spell power through Demonic Knowledge (1 * 0.30 * 0.12), ~0.044 with Blessing of Kings ((1 * 1.1) * (0.3 * 1.1) * 0.12), ~0.05 combined with Fel Vitality.


Stamina increases our health by 10 for each point. Our demons also inherit 75% of our stamina which in turn increases their health pool. Demonic Knowledge also applies to stamina making it another source of spell power for demonology Warlocks. Things like Blessing of Kings, Demonic Embrace, and Fel Vitality all play into this as well.


About the Author


I am a Classic Warlock enthusiast and in general like theorycrafting. I am the owner and admin of the best community in the whole wide world, being the Classic Warlock Discord. This is the home of some of the best Warlocks in this game and the basis for theorycrafting and figuring out the optimal plays for us warlocks. My aim is to make sure this up-to-date information is out there everywhere to be found and to give back to the community.
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1 year ago

can you put details for 5% hit. ie misery + 2/3 suppression?

Reply to  summumz
1 year ago

Its pretty much 26 hit rating per 1%, 315 hit would be the 5% number.

1 year ago

I love you, dear!

1 year ago

is there a haste cap for both demo and affli? is it 20% (50% with hero)?

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