Classic Warrior DPS Stat Priority
The Basics of Stats for DPS Warriors
Before we begin, it should be said that gear in WoW Classic tends to be very unique, and as such, you will often be chasing very specific items, rather than simply following a stat priority list. Still, a more detailed explanation on each of a Warrior's relevant stats will help you understand why those pieces are so sought after.
Stat Priority for DPS Warriors
Damage-based Stat Priority
- Weapon stats (DPS, Damage Range, and Speed);
- Extra Weapon Skill (great benefit until 308 skill is hit, minor afterwards);
- Hit Chance (about 6% is the soft cap against bosses, if you have at least 305 weapon skill, otherwise you need 9% for capping, which is when your special attacks always hit. Hit loses value after hitting this point);
- Critical Strike (200% on normal swings, 220% damage on special attacks with Impale);
- Strength and Attack Power (1 Strength = 2 Attack Power for Warriors, 14 Attack Power = 1 Weapon DPS gain);
- Agility (grants critical strike).
Survivability-based Stat Priority
- Stamina (more health per point);
- Armor (less physical damage taken per point);
- Parry and Dodge % increases (more likely to avoid damage altogether, Parry also hastens your next auto-attack, so it is slightly better);
- Agility (grants dodge);
- Defense (lessens the chance for the enemy to hit, crushing blow, or critical strike you);
- Strength and Block Value (you gain block value from Strength too, which lessens damage taken when a block happens);
- Block % increases (more likely to block, only useful when Shield Block is not up).
Priority of Other Stats
- Resistance (strongly reduces Magic damage taken of a specific element);
- Spirit (health regeneration outside combat);
- Intellect (faster weapon skill learning).
Getting a Better Understanding of the Stats for DPS Warriors
|Class||Health Gained per Tick|
|Druid||Spirit * 0.09 + 6.5|
|Hunter||Spirit * 0.25 + 6|
|Mage||Spirit * 0.10 + 6|
|Paladin||Spirit * 0.25 + 6|
|Priest||Spirit * 0.10 + 6|
|Rogue||Spirit * 0.50 + 2|
|Shaman||Spirit * 0.11 + 7|
|Warlock||Spirit * 0.07 + 6|
|Warrior||Spirit * 0.80 + 6|
As the table shows, Warriors are the class that gains the most health regeneration per point of Spirit in WoW Classic. This makes it a very powerful stat while leveling, despite Warriors having too much maximum health for it to matter at higher levels.
Your weapon is by far the largest contributor to your damage, and you should always aim to upgrade it first, if possible. There are three types of stats you are mainly looking for in a weapon: its DPS, its damage range and its speed. Slower weapons have bigger damage ranges, which is very important for certain skills that depend only on the damage range, such as Mortal Strike and Whirlwind. For more sustained DPS styles, such as Fury dual wielding, DPS is the most important stat, as Bloodthirst does not depend on the weapon's damage range.
Weapon Skill allows you to hit enemies more often and, more importantly, for a lot more damage when you land a glancing blow. Glancing blows are regular hits that deal reduced damage. Against your typical Level 63 boss, a full 40% of your attacks will be glancing blows, which deal 35% reduced damage if you only have 300 weapon skill.
|Level Difference||Chance to Occur||Base Damage Penalty|
However, by increasing your weapon skill, up to a maximum of 308 for this purpose, you can increase your glancing blow damage up to a cap of roughly 95% of a normal hit, making glancing blows hit for close to normal hits.
|Defense / Weapon Skill Difference||Glancing Penalty||Miss Chance||Hit Cap|
|10 (Human / Orc)||15%||6%||6%|
|8 ( Edgemaster's Handguards)||7%||5.8%||5.8%|
Increasing your weapon skill also significantly increases your chance to hit the target, as seen in the table above, making it one of the most powerful threat stats.
Hit allows your attacks to land more often, which can often be the difference between having Rage or being Rage-starved, and is also a huge direct damage contributor, as missing your special attacks is a huge damage loss.
As a Warrior, Agility increases your dodge, your armor and your critical chance. Since DPS Warriors mostly care about the critical chance, Agility is good, but not great.
Critical Strike allows you to have higher uptime on Flurry in PvE, and to have higher burst potential in PvP, and as such is a highly valuable stat. Take note that, due to Critical Strike aura suppression, you have a reduced Critical Strike chance gain from gear against bosses.
When you swing your weapon, it has a chance to miss, be parried or dodged by the target, among other outcomes. Only hits have the potential to critical strike, but hits only represent roughly 30% of the potential outcomes for a white (auto attack) swing. This is what is known as a crit cap since any critical strike chance above that roughly 30% mark cannot result in a critical strike.
Further in depth, the calculation priority on a white swing goes as follows: misses, dodges, parries, blocks, glancing hits, white crits and hits. Because glancing blows by themselves are always 40% of your hits against boss level enemies, it is possible to gain enough extra critical strike chance to make all normal hits critical strike, thus hitting the crit cap.
This cap increases along with your hit chance and weapon skill, because those reduce your chance to miss, get dodged, parried, or blocked (does not affect glancing blows, though). As an example, if you are dual wielding and have no extra hit chance on your gear, as well as 300 weapon skill, you will have 100% (baseline) - 28% (miss with dual wield) - 5.6% (dodge chance) - 0% (parry from behind) - 0% (block from behind) - 40% (glancing) = 26.4% chance to land a white crit or hit against boss level enemies, while attacking from behind.
Since yellow or special hits cannot be glancing hits, you will be able to increase your critical strike chance with them well above the white hit critical strike cap mentioned above. Also, the white critical strike cap will usually be higher while using a two-hand weapon due to their lower miss chance.
Stamina is the only stat that will help you survive all types of attacks, and as such, should always be highly valued.
Resistance, while inherently niche due to different bosses dealing different magical damage types, can be very useful while progressing specific bosses. Wearing resistance gear of a type makes you take less damage or even completely avoid damage when hit by that type of magical damage.
- 28 Sep. 2020: Added more information to weapon stats section.
- 07 May 2020: Reworked some outdated sections.
- 19 Mar. 2020: Corrected some minor typos in the critical strike section.
- 28 Jul. 2019: Added information on the white hit critical strike cap.
- 20 Jul. 2019: Corrected some theorycraft due to feedback.
- 12 Jun. 2019: Page added.
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