PvE Feral Druid DPS Stat Priority

wotlk pve feral druid stat priority

Knowing which stats provide value to your class is an important part of understanding the class you play. It also allows you to make gearing decisions independently of gear lists, which is useful to assess whether an item you’ve received is an upgrade (even if it may not be best in slot!).

However, keep in mind that stat priorities do not mean that you should completely stack one stat over another; all the listed stats provide some value to Ferals, so an optimal set will provide a balance of these stats for the most overall value. For example, while 1 Strength may provide more value than 1 Critical Strike Rating, 2 Critical Strike Rating will provide more value than 1 Strength. Therefore, it is important not only to know which stats are the most valuable, but how each stat objectively compares to the others.

The relative value of each stat can be determined through the use of simulation tools. These tools take the optimal DPS rotation and simulate thousands of encounters to compare how much DPS is added by each stat. The values presented here as stat weights show the calculated DPS increase of one stat — i.e. 1 Strength = 1.85 DPS in a full BiS set-up. The most up-to-date simulation tool for Feral DPS is developed by Nerdegghead and is freely available on the Druid Classic Discord — the information presented here is derived from this.

Note that these values change based on your rotation, gear, buffs and debuffs, number of targets, duration of encounter, and other factors affecting your DPS. These particular values are calculated for a 3 minute, single target encounter in Phase 3 BiS gear and full raid buffs + target debuffs.

Stat Priority & Value

2.35 DPS
1 Armor penetration rating not exceeding 1400 rating (or 649 rating with Mjolnirrunestone)
2.19 DPS
1 Hit rating not exceeding 263 rating / 8% (or 230 rating / 7% with HeroicPresence)
2.19 DPS
1 Expertise rating not exceeding 132 rating / 6.5%
1.91 DPS
1 Agility not exceeding 80.8% critical strike chance
1.85 DPS
1 Strength
1.50 DPS
1 Critical Strike Rating not exceeding 80.8% critical strike chance
1.42 DPS
1 Haste rating
0.93 DPS
1 Feral attack power
0.78 DPS
1 Attack power
0.00 DPS
Stamina (adds survivability only)

Stat Explanation

Armor penetration increases the damage of your physical attacks. It is a strong stat that gets more powerful the more of it you have. This means that at pre-raid gear levels, its value is considerably lower than later in the game.

Armor penetration is capped at 1400 rating, after which it no longer provides any value. Although it is difficult to reach 1400 rating from gear alone, powerful trinkets like Mjolnir and Grimtoll have procs which add a considerable amount of armor penetration. Because of this, you should gear within the armor penetration “soft cap” of 649 rating when using Mjolnir or 788 rating when using Grimtoll, as any armor penetration on gear above this will become useless whenever the trinket proc is active, making it far less valuable on average.

Hit rating reduces your chance to miss attacks and abilities by 1% per ~32.8 hit rating. This makes it quite a strong DPS stat. Players have a base miss chance of 8% against bosses, meaning that hit rating has a hard cap at which it no longer provides any value. This cap is at 8% (263 rating) — you do not need to reach this cap, but you should not exceed it, as the hit rating above cap would be wasted. If you find yourself above cap, you should “drop hit” by using items with less hit rating on them, even if they are individually worse than your current piece.

Alliance players with Draenei in their group will benefit from HeroicPresence, which increases your hit rating by 1%. If you have this, you should not exceed 7% hit, or 230 rating from your gear.

Expertise reduces the chance that your attacks are dodged or parried. When attacking from behind (as all melee DPS players should), your attacks cannot be parried. Therefore, expertise only reduces your chance to be dodged. Bosses have a 6.5% dodge chance, making the expertise cap for DPS players 26 expertise.

As Ferals receive 10 expertise from the talent primalprec, 16 expertise (132 rating) will bring you to this cap, after which expertise provides no value.

Each point of agility provides 1 attack power in Cat form. Additionally, it provides a small amount of critical strike chance. Overall, it is a very strong DPS stat when in cat form.

Agility provides less value when exceeding the “Critical strike soft cap.” This is explained in detail under Critical Strike Rating below.

Each point of strength provides 2 attack power. However, kings, sotf, and impgotw all increase your strength but not your attack power, making each point of strength as valuable as ~2.38 attack power.

Critical strike rating is a decent DPS stat which increases the damage of your attacks as well as increasing your combo point generation through PrimalFury.

Critical strike rating, like Hit rating, Expertise rating, and Armor penetration rating, does have a cap. If you crit 100% of your attacks that land, having further critical strike chance (from Crit rating or from Agility) will not benefit you. However, you will not reach 100% critical strike rating from gearing.

Still, there is also a Critical strike “soft cap.” While your special attacks (abilities) follow the above rule of a 100% “crit cap,” your auto attacks have a chance to glance, which cannot be changed through gearing. Attacks that glance cannot crit, so the highest critical strike chance you can use on your auto attacks is lower than on your special attacks.

Specifically, the “soft crit cap” is 80.8%. Any critical strike chance above this will only affect your special attacks (abilities). This is still very high to achieve with gear alone, but, like with armor penetration, there are several items with procs that can make you reach this. If wearing Idolofmutilation and Deathsverdict, your soft crit cap is 70.67% from gear and buffs. Critical strike rating and Agility will provide less value after this point; often this means changing your gems to Haste and Strength, or any other valuable stats you can still benefit from in your set.

Haste rating is a decent DPS stat which increases your attack speed. It is generally a bit weaker than other similarly-budgeted stat options for Ferals.

Attack power is the “basic” DPS stat which use to compare other stats’ values. It increases the damage dealt by all your attacks. While it is low on the list, this is mostly because attack power takes less “stat budget” than other stats. For example, if an item with 40 strength were to have Attack power instead of strength, it would likely be allocated 80 attack power. Therefore, while attack power is point-for-point low in value, it is still a good stat to have on gear.

Note that Feral attack power (the type of attack power found on weapons) is worth 20% more than attack power found on armor due to the talent PredatoryStrikes.

Stamina does not provide any raw DPS value. However, it is not worthless; having more health can allow you to survive certain mechanics, and is always a nice bonus. While it should not be prioritised over DPS stats, it is worth giving some thought to.


About the Author


I've been an avid WoW player since Vanilla. At 6 years old, I was slowly progressing through Blackfathom Deeps and levelling up with my brothers. Since Classic Wow launched, I've found a new way to enjoy the game; participating in Feral Druid theorycrafting communities and performing well in an underdog class has been a fun challenge. I hope to be able to share all I've learned with anyone who shares that interest!
Notify of

Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Drog The Bog
Drog The Bog
1 year ago

Wtf is 1400 armor pen? Game has much lower values

Drog The Bog
Drog The Bog
Reply to  Drog The Bog
1 year ago

Should post the in-game percentage instead, like under Hit Rating it says I have armor pen rating 25, which is 1.79% enemy armor reduced

Reply to  Drog The Bog
1 year ago

The in-game percentage is not fully representative of how Armor Penetration works and is kind of dishonest unfortunately.

Reply to  Drog The Bog
1 year ago

1400 armor pen is 100% armor pen

Reply to  Drog The Bog
1 year ago

Roughly 15 Armor Penetration is = to 1% reduction in boss armor
1400 Armor Penetration is the hard cap, meaning you will not gain anything past this point.
Reaching that is effectively impossible currently, but in later Phases there is a lot more Armor Penetration on gear, allowing you to potentially hit 1400, even if it is only temporarily.

4 months ago

thank a lot for detailed and well developed guide

Scroll to Top