feral stat priority feature image
  • Author: Oxykitten
  • Date: December 22, 2021
  • Expansion: WoW Classic

Intro

Welcome to our stat priority guide for Feral tanks in WoW Classic: Season of Mastery! This guide will explain how to make good gearing choices, and how valuable each stat is. Here, I will also go into great detail on how theorycrafters determine these values, as well as how complicated this can be for tanks. For guides on other facets of Feral gameplay, follow the links above.

Stat Priorities

In the past, many guides would list “stat priorities” for different classes, suggesting to stack X stat before Y stat and so on. In reality, optimising your character is far more about balancing the values of different stats to come up with the best overall gear set possible. For example, while 1 Stamina is better for a Feral tank than 1 Agility, 2 Agility is better than 1 Stamina. So, while your stat priority could be Stamina > Agility, that wouldn’t help you accurately decide between two pieces of gear. Luckily, I’ve done all the work for you; I have published detailed Best in Slot (BiS) gear guides for tanks and DPS at multiple gear levels.

Still, it is valuable to have an understanding of why some pieces of gear are better than others, so I will give explanations as to why each stat is given its value. This can get a little complicated, so don’t feel you need to read it in order to play Feral well; following my BiS lists will get you the same result. I’ve therefore put my stat priorities section in a reducible tab below; only venture in if you’re interested!

Finding DPS stat weights

The most common way of balancing stats is to compare them to one common stat, setting the scale for all of them. This is usually done with Attack Power. Thereby, we consider Attack Power to equal 1, and every other stat is compared to it. For example, 1 Strength gives 2 Attack Power in Bear Form, so Strength = 2 Attack Power. Note that, on Alliance, Blessing of Kings increases your Strength by 10%, so Strength = 2.2 Attack Power.

With other DPS stats, this is a little bit less clear-cut; Agility increases your Critical Strike chance, not your Attack Power. For stats like these, we use simulation tools; these tools use maths to determine how much DPS is increased by 1 attack power. Then, they determine how much DPS is increased by 1 Agility. They then determine the equivalent Attack Power (or eAP) of these stats by comparing these values; if 1 Attack Power increases your DPS by 1, and 1 Agility increases your DPS by 2, then 1 Agility = 2 equivalent Attack Power (note these numbers are made up for ease of understanding). I should note here that the simulation tool we use for Feral tanks (which is more of a spreadsheet than a true simulation, but I won’t go into that), and therefore the source of the information in this guide, is developed by Nerdegghead from the Druid Classic Discord. Big props to them for all their hard work!

Mixing in tank stats

As a tank, things get more complicated yet. While it is easy to compare Strength to Attack Power, and it is reasonable to compare two stats which increase your DPS (or threat per second / TPS when it comes to tanking), tanks are also concerned about mitigation. Stats like Stamina and Armor are very important for tanks, but do not provide Attack Power or any equivalent DPS. Because of this, we treat these stats separately at first; we take all mitigation stats and normalise them to one mitigation stat, like we did with Attack Power for DPS stats. Here, we normally use Stamina.

Now, we have 2 sets of stats: DPS stats (or threat stats) normalised to Attack Power, and mitigation stats normalised to Stamina. Then, we mix them together to compare all the stats on any given item. This is where we decide whether we want to build a balanced, threat-focused, or mitigation-focused set. We need to choose a ratio at which we will value mitigation stats compared to threat stats when mixing them together. Note that this ratio is subjective; you choose a ratio that you feel suits your tanking needs for a given encounter. The most commonly used ratio for a “balanced” set — for general use — is 1 Stamina : 1 Strength. Deviating from this balanced ratio is often referred to as a skew towards either mitigation or threat. I will continue using the terms “mitigation-focused” and “threat-focused” as I do in my gear guides to avoid jargon.

Note also that mitigation by its true sense of the word — reduced damage intake i.e. from Armor and Dodge, but not Stamina which only increases your health pool — reduces the rage you generate, and therefore reduces threat generation. This means that when mixing mitigation and threat stats together, you must deduct the negative impact on threat from the value of your mitigation stats.

For a mitigation-focused set, we often increase the value of Stamina (and all mitigation stats with it) to anywhere between 1.5:1 and 2:1 Stamina:Strength, at which point you are doubling the value of mitigation stats in comparison to threat stats.

Similarly, for a threat-focused set, we often decrease the value of Stamina (and all mitigation stats with it) to anywhere between 0.75:1 and 0.5:1 Stamina:Strength, at which point you are halving the value of mitigation stats in comparison to threat stats. The reason we decrease the value of mitigation stats, as opposed to increasing the value of threat stats, is to keep Attack Power as equal to 1 (i.e. the baseline all stats are compared to). This has no real impact, but is easier to follow.

Feral Druid Tank stat weights for Season of Mastery Phase 1

Putting that all together, we come to a list of stat weights that show us the value of each stat relative to Attack Power. In the list I include here, I am using what I consider to be a balanced set of weights, at 1 Stamina : 1 Strength. It is also designed for Alliance players with Blessing of Kings, meaning the value of Strength, Agility and Stamina are 10% higher than for Horde. Finally, also note that credit for these weights again go to Nerdegghead, who designed the spreadsheet and produced weights with them.

Threat:

  • Attack Power: 1
  • Strength: 2.2
  • Agility: 1.6 – Note that Agility is a threat stat due to the Critical Strike chance it provides, but also a mitigation stat due to the Armor and Dodge chance it provides.
  • Hit Chance: 34.8
  • Critical Strike Chance: 26.7
  • Haste: 25.9

Mitigation:

  • Stamina: 2.2
  • Armor: 0.29
  • Defense: 0.35
  • Dodge Chance: 0 – because of the spiky damage intake in Classic, and the unreliable nature of dodge chance, we subjectively reduce its value. Its reduced value is then cancelled out by its negative impact on threat, leading us to value dodge at net 0.

For the very best results, you should use these simulation tools yourself for your character, with the buffs, debuffs, consumables and gear you have access to and a threat:mitigation skew that suits your needs. Since stat weights depend on your character’s current stats, finding personalized stat weights will always be more accurate. These tools are available freely on the Druid Classic discord server.

Still, simply using reliable BiS lists is not likely to put you at any disadvantage, particularly since there are very few strong gear choices for Ferals. If you are not interested in using simulation tools and spreadsheets to make ultimately inconsequential gearing decisions, that’s up to you!

Thank you for taking the time to read our Feral tank stat priority guide for Season of Mastery. I hope it was helpful, and if you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to leave a comment below, or find me as Oxy on the Druid Classic discord.

 

About the Author

Oxykitten

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!
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