wotlk pve destruction 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. 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. Haste Rating | Crit Rating
    • The relative value of each depends on your gear level — read below for more information
  4. Spirit
  5. Intellect

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 depends on the level of the target that we face, and how much hit chance we get from talents (Suppresion), buffs (the Draenei racial party-wide aura, Heroic Presence), or how much the miss chance is reduced by debuffs (Imp FF or misery — 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 the hit cap in those situations.

Hit Chance
Boss
lvl 82
lvl 81
lvl 80
Miss Chance
17%
6%
5%
4%
0% – No extra hit chance
446
158
132
105
1% – Heroic Presence
420
132
105
79
3% – 3/3 Suppression or Imp FF or misery
368
79
53
27
341
53
27
0
6% – 3/3 Suppression & Imp FF or misery
289
0
0
0
263
0
0
0

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).

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

Incinerate for example has a base cast speed of 3 seconds. This gets reduced by 0.5 seconds thanks to Emberstorm. 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 = ( 2.5 Incinerate – 0.25 Emberstorm) / 1.2 haste = 1.875
Heroism = 1.875 / 1.3 = 1.442

The relative value of Crit Rating and Haste Rating compared to each other depends on how well we are geared. The better geared we are the more valuable haste becomes, in the first phase of the game Crit Rating is slightly more valuable compared to Haste Rating, whilst later on Haste becomes significantly better.

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).

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

The relative value of Crit Rating and Haste Rating compared to each other depends on how well we are geared. The better geared we are the more valuable haste becomes, in the first phase of the game Crit Rating is slightly more valuable compared to Haste Rating, whilst later on Haste becomes significantly better.

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% 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.

Furthermore, our Spirit gets boosted by 10% thanks to Greater Blessing of Kings, and a further 3% if you’re a Human thanks to The Human Spirit. These make Spirit even more attractive. Thus:

  • 1 Spirit = 0.3 Spell Power with Fel Armor, or 0.309 Spell Power for Humans (The Human Spirit)
  • Glyph of Life Tap would add another 0.2 Spell Power, it should we swap out this glyph in the last phase of the expansion.

Intellect increases our mana pool as well as slightly increases our critical hit chance. Our pets also inherent 30% of our intellect. Overall Intellect isn’t a major factor when considering gearing.

  • 1 intellect = 15 mana
  • 166.667 intellect = 1% critical hit chance
  • 1 intellect = 0.3 int for our demon

 

About the Author

Zephan

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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