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Stamina in WoW
Stamina is the stat responsible for how many hit points your character has. Stamina converts to hit points for all classes, mobs, and NPCs at a rate of 1:10. In other words, one point of Stamina gives 10 hit points. There are many talents and abilities that will increase a players stamina by a percentage or flat value, but there are none that change the Stamina:HP conversion. Stamina is found on Blue Gems.
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Agility is a melee-oriented stat that gives bonuses in the way of critical strike rating, attack power, dodge, and armor. Agility is a primary DPS stat for Hunters, Rogues, Feral Druids, and Enhancement Shamans. It is a secondary DPS stat for Warriors, Death Knights, and Retribution Paladins. It is a primary tanking stat for Feral Bear Druids (because of their main reliance on dodge and armor), and a secondary tanking stat for Death Knights, Protection Warriors and Protection Paladins. Note that Agility will never be found on Plate Tanking items, but occasionally shows up on non-armor pieces like Rings and Necks. As a general rule, if Agility is not listed as a primary stat for your class and spec there is no need to seek out gear, enchants, or gems that use it. Agility is found on red gems.
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Strength is one of the standard stats, and most often found on Plate armor items. It is very rarely found on Rings, Necklaces, or Cloaks, and only sometimes found on Weapons. Strength has different uses depending on class and spec, but it's main aspect is granting attack power to Warriors, Death Knights, Druids, and Paladins at the rate of 2:1. In other words every point of Strength gives two points of Attack Power.
For classes that can Block (mainly just Warriors and Paladins) Strength gives block value at a 2:1 rate (2 points of STR = 1 point of Block Value). Death Knights gain Parry Rating from Strength at a 4:1 rate (4 points of STR = 1 point of parry rating).
Strength is found on Red Gems.
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Spirit was originally designed to be the mana and health regeneration stat, but has been in some ways rebuilt in the expansions. The health regeneration component is vastly ignored, since it does not function while in combat, and health is much faster regained out of combat using food. Spirit mana regeneration is active in combat, but only five seconds after the last spell has been cast (timer starts at the beginning of a spell cast). This is called the Five Second Rule, or FSR. You'll often come across the expression ooFSR meaning "out of" - the time while in combat that mana is being regenerated through Spirit.
In Patch 3.1 it was decided that the ooFSR mana regeneration was too powerful, primarily as regards to healers, and it was drastically reduced. The vast majority of classes considered Spirit to be a useless stat, though it was given additional use through a Warlock's Fel Armor and Demonic Aegis (30% of Spirit converted into Spellpower), and through a Mage's Molten Armor (35% of Spirit is converted into critical strike rating). Shadow Priests benefit from Spirit because of Improved Spirit Tap which allows them to regenerate additional mana upon critical strikes while casting (inside FSR). Spirit is ignored by Holy Paladins, who favor their mana regeneration to come from critical heals and MP5, and therefore stack Intellect. It is also much less desired by Restoration Shamans who tend to prefer MP5 as well. Holy/Discipline Priests and Restoration Druids are a different story.
Restoration Druids have the Intensity talent, which allows them to have a percentage of their ooFSR regeneration while iFSR. Resto Druids also have the Living Spirit talent that further increases their Spirit by 15%. The Improved Tree of Life talent gives the Druid additional spellpower as a percentage of their Spirit.
Holy Priests get a lot from Spirit as well. Both Holy and Discipline healing Priests take the Meditation talent in the Discipline tree, which allows them to have a percentage of their ooFSR regeneration while iFSR. Holy Priests also get the Spiritual Guidance talent which gives them 25% of their Spirit as spellpower. Additionally Holy Priests get the Holy Concentration talent which, when proc'd, gives them 50% of their ooFSR regen while iFSR (on top of the 50% from Meditation). Finally, the Spirit of Redemption talent grants an additional 5% Spirit.
Discipline Priests, however, only have two useful Spirit-related talents. The first is, of course, Meditation to help their iFSR regeneration. The second is Enlightenment, which increases their total Spirit by 6%. In general, Discipline healers will prefer gear with MP5, not spirit, but a balance is certainly required.
Spirit is found on Blue Gems.
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Intellect is a magic caster stat, pure and simple. It is useful for every single class that uses mana, so this even extends to Hunters and Enhancement Shamans. At it's simplest, Intellect gives straight points of Mana, much like Stamina gives hit points. Each point of Intellect gives 15 Mana points for all classes, mobs, etc. Intellect also has other attributes. It grants spell critical strike rating, which at level 80 is roughly 1% critical strike chance per 167 points of Intellect.
In patch 2.4 Intellect gained another feature: It increases the amount of mana regenerated through Spirit, which ends up creating a lovely yet very complicated synergy between these twos tats. The math on this is incredibly complex and involves finding your base regen (which is level dependent) and doing lots of things to it, including multiplying and finding square roots. Unless you're a mathematician you're not gonna want me to even attempt to explain the formula. Instead, if you really want to know just how much the Intellect on a certain piece of gear is going to help or harm you (mana regeneration-wise) you can use an addon like Rating Buster which does all the math for you.
Let's get back to the non-caster classes that use Intellect - Hunters and Shamans. For many hunters Intellect does nothing for them other than give them a mana pool. However, Marksman hunters (and other specs that choose to delve into the second tier of the Marksman talent tree) can get Attack Power from their Intellect, point for point. Enhancement Shamans are vastly melee based, though they cast a couple spells every now and then. For them, the Mental Dexterity talent also gives Attack Power for Intellect, point for point.
The final attribute of Intellect is that it increases that rate at which you learn weapon skills. This used to be noted in the tooltip and was removed without anyone really noticing, but testing still shows that even melee classes will gain weapon skills faster if they have an Intellect buff on them, so as ridiculous as it seems hit up a Mage before venturing out to raise your 1H Sword skill from 1-400.
Intellect is found on Yellow Gems.
Ultimate Guide to Stats and Attributes in World of Warcraft
- Stats and Attributes in World of Warcraft - Explanations and Analysis
- Ultimate Guide to Stats and Attributes in World of Warcraft - Offensive Stats Breakdown
- Ultimate Guide to Stats and Attributes in World of Warcraft - Defensive Stat Breakdown
- World of Warcraft Cataclysm Stats and Attributes Changes