WotLK Classic Arms Warrior Stat Priority
On this page, you will find out the optimal PvE stat priority for your Arms Warrior in WotLK Classic. We first present the stat priority, before delving into more complex explanations.
Arms Warrior Stat Priority in Wrath of the Lich King
- Hit Rating
- Armor Penetration
- Critical Strike Rating
- Expertise Rating
- Haste Rating
Armor Penetration bypasses Strength when you can soft or hard cap your Armor Pen. Critical Strike Rating bypasses Armor Penetration if you cannot at least soft cap on Armor Pen. See Expertise Rating below for the values you will aim for as Arms.
Basic Stats for Arms Warrior
As with most damage dealers, increasing your chance to Hit your attacks is the largest damage increase you can get. Hit Rating reduces the chance that your attacks will miss, providing you with an overall damage increase that is higher than any other stat.
As an Arms Warrior, you will need to aim for 8% Hit Chance, or 263 Hit Rating to reach the hit cap. If you are Alliance with a Draenei in your party, this will give you the Heroic Presence buff, granting you another 1% Hit Chance. This lowers your Hit Chance needs to 7%, or 230 Hit Rating. Be sure to cap your Hit Rating needs first and foremost.
At Level 80:
- 32.8 Hit Rating = 1% Hit Chance
Armor Penetration is one of the most desired stats for Physical damage dealers. Armor Pen causes your attacks to ignore a portion of the target's Armor depending on how much Armor Penetration you have. As you only deal Physical damage, this makes Armor Penetration one of the best stats you can aim for as an Arms Warrior.
Early on Armor Penetration will be hard to come by even harder to stack and should not be a focus when gearing. If you are able to reach either the soft or hard cap for ArP, it surpasses Strength in terms of stat priority. Critical Strike Rating surpasses Armor Penetration in value when you can not reach either the soft or hard cap for ArP.
Armor Penetration has 2 different breakpoints you need to worry about. The first breakpoint is the soft cap. This is when you can reach 100% ArP through procs and certain buffs or debuffs, such as Mjolnir Runestone. In this soft cap gearing, you will aim for 1,400 ArP while you have your procs active. The second breakpoint is the hard cap. This is when you can reach 1,400 ArP passively at all times through buffs, gems, and enchants without relying on any procs at all. Note that any Armor Penetration past 1,400 does nothing at all and is completely wasted.
As an Arms Warrior, you will be spending the majority of your time in Battle Stance, which gives you a passive 10% Armor Penetration. This brings the total amount of ArP needed down to 1,260. It is also worth noting that Mace Specialization grants 15% Armor Pen, but you ideally want to be using either an Axe or Polearm to take advantage of the powerful Poleaxe Specialization talent.
At Level 80:
- 13.99 ArP Rating = 1% Armor Penetration
- 1,260 ArP Rating = 100% Armor Penetration
Strength is a straightforward stat, increasing your Attack Power by 2 for each point of Strength. Your Strength is further increased by the talent Strength of Arms, and in a raiding environment you will likely be buffed with Blessing of Kings, even further boosting your Strength.
At Level 80:
- 1 Strength = 2 Attack Power
Critical Strike Rating
Crit Chance has always been a strong stat for Warriors. Crit acts as an accelerant to your damage, as Critting with an auto attack generates more Rage, which you can then in turn use to deal more damage with your abilities. Critting also applies Deep Wounds to the target, which is one of your highest-damaging attacks in WotLK.
You have a few vital talents and skills that rely on Crit Chance, such as the previously mentioned Deep Wounds. Impale is a great boost to the damage you deal with Crits, as well as Poleaxe Specialization, which grants you both Crit Chance and Crit Damage. Lastly, Glyph of Heroic Strike is a crucial glyph to help you maintain your Rage and requires a Critical Strike with Heroic Strike to proc.
While Critical Strike Rating is listed below Armor Penetration here, it is a better stat to get if you cannot at least soft cap on Armor Penetration (see above). This will be the case early on in gearing, lasting until the end of Phase 2.
At Level 80:
- 45.91 Crit Rating = 1% Crit Chance
Expertise reduces the chance that your attacks will be dodged or parried. While this may seem like a powerful stat, and for other melee damage dealers it is a higher priority, for Arms Warriors it is a bit lower on the list. The nature of Overpower makes it not always a bad thing to have some of your attacks dodged.
A boss-level mob will have 14% chance to parry attacks as well as a 6.5% chance to dodge attacks. Remember that mobs cannot parry from behind, so be sure to always be attacking them behind and you will only need to worry about the 6.5% chance for them to dodge.
As an Arms Warrior, you have access to multiple talents that directly increase your Expertise. Firstly, Strength of Arms provides you with 4 Expertise. Secondly, you also have Weapon Mastery, reducing the chance that your attacks are dodged by a flat 2%. This talent is equal to 8 Expertise. Combining these 2 talents, your total Expertise needed goes from 6.5% down to 3.5% before you even look at any other sources.
The last source of Expertise before gear will come from your racial abilities depending on what you picked. Humans get both Sword Specialization and Mace Specialization. Dwarves get Mace Specialization, and Orcs get Axe Specialization. Remember that these bonuses are only active while you are wearing the specific weapon type.
You are aiming for 18 Expertise, or 147.6 Expertise Rating while you have Weapon Mastery. As your gear changes, you may find yourself higher on Expertise, in which case you can drop 1 or 2 points from Weapon Mastery to make up for the excess Expertise. Be sure to calculate your talents and racial abilities when determining how much Expertise you need.
At Level 80:
- 8.2 Expertise Rating = 1 Expertise Skill
- 0/2 Weapon Mastery = 26 Expertise Needed
- 1/2 Weapon Mastery = 22 Expertise Needed
- 2/2 Weapon Mastery = 18 Expertise Needed
While Haste Rating is typically one of the stronger stats for most other specializations, Arms Warriors do not get nearly any value from the stat. Haste Rating will increase the rate at which you deal white auto attacks, giving you a slight boost to your Rage generation and auto attack damage. Seeing as that is the only benefit the stat provides, it is easily outperformed by your other major stats, making it your lowest stat priority.
At Level 80:
- 25.21 Haste Rating = 1% Attack Speed
While Armor is not a main stat you are seeking out, it is worth mentioning as the talent Armored to the Teeth grants you 3 Attack Power for every 108 Armor. Remember to keep this in mind when comparing gear pieces.
- 09 Oct. 2023: Updated for Phase 4.
- 11 May 2023: Updated for Phase 3.
- 18 Jan. 2023: Reviewed for Phase 2 release ahead of Ulduar raid release.
- 07 Sep. 2022: Page added.
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