I am not a believer in gear lists.  There, I said it.  I know that ‘Gearing for Heroics’, ‘Gearing for ‘Insert Raid Here’ lists and the like are very popular with people, but quite frankly, I find them to be very irritating to read.  I will admit I have looked at one before (specifically for my druid, since I know diddly squat about tanking), but I have never felt the need to use one for my Warlock.  We only have one cap that we really NEED to worry about, and then gearing is (relatively) simple if we keep in mind a couple of basic principles.  Of course, these rules aren’t necessarily set in stone, and sometimes breaking them a little bit will give you better results.  Not to mention people always disagree on what should be aimed for!

1.  Hit -> Haste <-> Damage -> Crit.

Hit will always be the most important stat.  Point for point hit is more valuable than any other stat, and all the damage or crit in the world wont help you when your spells resist.  The hit cap at level 80 is as follows:

Untalented Hit Cap: 446

Talented (Suppression and/or Cataclysm): 368

Talented and Grouped with Draenei: 342

For the purposes of being hit capped, I would aim for the 368 mark rather than banking on the Heroic Presence buff.  This is of course assuming you have put talents in Cataclysm!

Haste is highly beneficial for Fire Destruction as it maximises the already slightly shorter cast times of fire spells, and allows you to cast more Incinerates during the duration of an Immolate.  This allows you to take advantage of the ‘deals more damage while the target has Immolate’ mechanic.  Keep in mind the GCD on instant casts (Curses, Corruption, Conflagrate and Shadowflame) can only be reduced to one second.

1% increase in cast speed: 32.78998947 Haste.

The reasoning behind having Haste and Damage being somewhat equal is that they both need to be balanced.  Clearly having a heap of haste but little damage isn’t going to help you, and vice versa.  My usual tactic where possible here is to aim for small chunks of both stats at a time.  In BC, I would aim to increase my Crit in 5% increments, then my damage by 100-200.  Might not be the best approach, but I found that I felt less ‘gimped’ on a stat working that way.  I will probably adopt a similar approach with Haste and Damage in Wrath.

2.  Spi <-> Sta -> Int.

To be honest, I am still really umming and ahhing over this.  Stamina has always been a primary stat for Warlocks, but with Spirit now having an impact on Spell Damage (thanks to Fel Armor) and directly affecting Life Tap, I would say they are equally important.  Intellect is overrated (in my opinion), providing a minor increase in spell crit rating and increasing your mana pool.  While a large mana pool is nice, it is not essential.  One overlooked benefit of Intellect is that it will also increase your Imp’s critical strike rating, which gives you those shiny Empowered Imp buffs!

166.6666709 Intellect = 1% Crit

30% of your Spirit = Spell Power WHILE Fel Armor is active

Life Tap (Rank 8): Converts (1490+Spi*3) Health into (1490+Spi*3) Mana.

So, my basic rule when looking at upgrades?  Don’t focus on too high above your current content level, look at what is to be had and compare it to your current gear.  If it drops and you think it is better (keeping these things in mind), go for it.  Remember you will be competing with ALL cloth wearers for drops, and try to remember that what is good for you may be good for someone else as well! 

Credit must be given where due!  Now, we all know I am horrible at maths.  Most numbers stolen from Whitetooth’s post on the EJ forums (Thanks!!)

3 Responses to “The Numbers that Matter at 80”
  1. Stamina was an important stat for Warlocks back in Vanilla WoW, but has long since fallen away. No longer do we have oodles of health compared to every other class, and LIfe Tap is not the big deal it used to be.

    I think they brought the Spirit buff in simply because we are sharing gear with Mages and Priests these days.

    I’m a bit confused with your hit cap figures.
    My net nanny prevents me looking up most things while I’m at work, but hit cap used to be 202 hit, didn’t it?
    I know they got rid of the 1% miss, so that would mean needing 17% hit, or 214 hit in other words.

    446? did things get changed when Wrath came out?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Athlantar - Sen'jin says:

    Try not to look at hit cap in terms of which version of WoW. Look at it in regards to highest level attained. For level 70, the Warlock hit cap was 202 where as the level 80 hit cap has increased to 446.

    26.23 hit rating = 1%
    446 Hit capped with no talents
    368 Hit capped with 3 points in Suppression or Cataclysm
    289 Hit capped with Misery or Improved Faerie Fire on the target along with 3 points in Suppression or Cataclysm
    Improved Faerie Fire Druid talent, gives 1% hit per point, up to 3 points
    Misery Shadow Priest talent, gives 1% hit per point, up to 3 points.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Ath pretty much covered it for me there vlad re. hit :-). The cap is based on the level of the mob you are fighting – you need more hit to hit a level 83 mob than a 73 mob!

    I personally don’t like banking on having certain class buffs in the raid/group at the time, so I usually aim for the talented cap. Especially if you will be running 10 mans, where a guarantee of having a Balance Druid and a Shadow Priest is unlikely. However, some people are quite comfortable with this, especially if they are running with a stable 25 man group.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0