Due to the advent of the Titanforging system, BiS lists are a defunct practice. We suggest you simulate each piece of gear you obtain against your other gear to find the most effective gear set. Aside from that, following a general stat priority and ratio is the most practical way to move forward with gearing. Additionally, we are focused on single target output for raid environments, as it is vastly more important than building for AoE or cleave specifically, but don’t be afraid to experiment to tailor yourself to a raid encounter.
Stat priorities and ratios
Below are our advised stat gearing strategies for different legendary and talent combinations. We won’t release numbers for every single talent and legendary combination, but the general ratio and priority serve as a good all-round distribution.
What are stat ratios?
In Patch 7.1.5 we introduced the concept of stat ratios, a distribution of secondary stats in a ratio that will provide, fairly generally, the highest DPS. This metric differs from stat weights as it does not directly let you assess the value of an item, but instead serves as a tool for long term gearing strategy. Our thoughts on why stat weights are flawed can be read in slanderman’s blog post here. Instead, we choose to provide you with these stat ratios and priorities, as well as the knowledge of how to make use of them.
The above figure shows a rough example of a stat ratio — it’s a relationship between the four secondary stats, but not the inherent value of these stats. This doesn’t simply say Critical Strike is the best stat since there’s more of it, but that this particular distribution of secondaries is best, so you should do your best at balancing stats accordingly. When we release stat ratios, we give them as a simple ‘algebraic equation’ but it’s much more digestible with a visualization like the ones above and below.
How do I ‘use’ these stat ratios?
First and foremost: you cannot put these into Pawn, ratios should never be considered compatible with this addon. We saw a number of people misusing the ratios as pseudo Pawn strings, so we’re trying our best to educate our readers on proper usage with this page. The most important concept of stat ratios is that you’re comparing your secondary stat levels to the highest in each ratio. In the below Gambling ratio, you want your highest stat to be Critical Strike. From here, you want your Haste rating to be roughly 80% of your Critical Strike rating, your Mastery rating to be roughly 65% of your Critical Strike rating, and your Versatility rating to be roughly 35% of your Critical Strike rating. This means that if you had 10K Critical Strike rating, you’d want 8K Haste, 6.5K Mastery, and 3.5K Versatility.
Do note that using these ratios should be a long term strategy, as they aren’t as easily used for single item comparisons. This is where we stress the value of simming yourself; there are plenty of guides on how to do it, and Raidbots has an excellent interface for this. Simming yourself will give you the most granular information, but opting to use stat ratios in favour of stat weights will result in a better overall gearset with much less variation. Without simming, the best way to determine if an item is an upgrade is to think about whether it will bring you closer to or further away from the stat ratio.
How are stat ratios calculated?
We make heavy use of Bloodystats, a SimulationCraft wrapper for batch simulations with a spread of different secondary stat distributions. This is used for almost every talent and legendary combination you can think of to find both a general trend in the highest DPS stat distributions and for talent/legendary comparisons. In essence, the program aids our research immensely by allowing rapid prototyping of different talent/legendary builds. We use a few constraints to make sure the distributions are realistically achievable. Bloodystats then generates a series of the top few best distributions for each talent/legendary setup we’ve asked for. We present either raw stat ratios (like in Gambling) or aggregate means for a best fit across a large number of talent/legendary setups (like the AoE and General stat ratios).
Stat ratios and comparisons
The figure below shows the current stat ratios of three separate builds: Gambling, AoE and General. This serves as a graphical example of how stat ratios are a distribution of a given amount of secondary stats and not the relative ‘DPS value’ of the stats. In addition to this, the relative similarity between ratios is quite apparent with Tier 21.
Or if you prefer it in a textual format:
Gambling (3111331 Ascendance OR 3111333 Icefury)
Priority: Critical Strike > Haste >= Mastery >> Versatility
Ratio: For every X Critical Strike, you want 0.80x Haste, 0.65x Mastery, and 0.35x Versatility
AoE/Mythic+ (3112212 Lightning Rod)
Priority: Critical Strike >= Haste >>> Mastery = Versatility
Ratio: For every X Critical Strike, you want 0.90x Haste , 0.30x Mastery, and 0.30x Versatility
General (3111331 Ascendance)
Priority: Critical Strike >> Mastery > Haste > Versatility
Ratio: For every X Critical Strike, you want 0.70x Mastery, 0.55x Haste, and 0.30x Versatility
Big note about stats
In the past, many people have suggested that the 86.5% Mastery cap was a breakpoint — a rating for you to reach for some advantageous effect. This was and is not the case. The 86.5% Mastery cap was the level at which Elemental Blast‘s Mastery buff would’ve brought you to 100% mastery, which was a cap. You did not want to reach this. You should stay under it and continued to maintain your stat ratios. Sacrificing any of your other stats to reach 86.5% Mastery resulted in a loss. With 7.3 the mastery chance was changed, increasing the rating needed to reach this form of cap. Don’t look for it. It’s still a dps loss.
Tier 19 versus Tier 20 versus Tier 21: What do I do?
- There is no realistic scenario where you should equip Tier 19 bonuses at this point in the expansion. If you have 970 item level Tier 19, congratulations, go buy a lottery ticket.
- Should I take Tier 20 2-piece over higher item level pieces? NO.
- Should I take Tier 20 2-piece with Tier 21 4-piece? NO. This means you won’t have the gloves legendary equipped, and the Tier 20 2-piece bonus is very weak.
- Should I take Tier 21 2-piece over higher item level pieces? YES, BUT SIM IT TO BE SURE.
- Should I take Tier 21 2-piece even if it means losing Tier 20 4-piece? NO. Tier 20 4-piece is a valuable bonus. You should only replace your Tier 20 4-piece bonus when you have Tier 21 4-piece.
- Should I equip high item level pieces over Tier 21 set bonuses? NOT FOR RAIDS. You gain very little from the Tier 21 bonuses in pure AoE scenarios (5+ targets), so you would be better off dropping tier pieces for well-itemised off-tier pieces instead.
Tier 21 specific pieces
You should try to equip the following tier pieces based on their secondary stats and viable off-tier pieces in Antorus:
- Pauldrons of Venerated Spirits (Shoulders)
- Robes of Venerated Spirits (Chest)
- Leggings of Venerated Spirits (Legs)
- Drape of Venerated Spirits (Cloak)
In addition to the best-optimised stats, this setup also gives room for the new legendary gloves Smoldering Heart.
Should I replace my legendary with this tier piece?
We recognise that Legion legendary RNG is not kind to everyone, and some may go a long time without the legendary gloves. It is a very good idea to maintain a 4-piece bonus (either titanforged Tier 20 or normal Tier 21), but you may find that losing a set bonus in favour of a legendary is a DPS increase. The only suggestion we can give is to sim it yourself. There are four legendaries that can block you from completing the tier set; Echoes, Uncertain Reminder, Roots of Shaladrassil, and Smoldering Heart.