Attributes are the basic building blocks for a character's combat ability. The five primary attributes are strength, agility, stamina, intellect, and spirit. These five attributes along with armor appear on the character sheet under "Base Stats". These are often referred to as simply stats.
A number of secondary attributes affect specific areas of combat more directly, and are often influenced in some way by a primary attribute. Secondary attributes include critical strike rate, damage absorption, attack power, spell damage, and many others.
All characters inherently have some amount of each attribute that increases with level depending mainly on class. For example, a mage will have more base intellect than a rogue, who will have more base agility. Increasing these attributes is mainly done with equipment, as well as temporary effects such as buffs, elixirs, scrolls, auras, and many other means.
Nearly all combat mechanics rely in some way on one or more character attributes. Increasing the appropriate attribute will increase damage done, reduce damage taken, increase healing done, affect a character's mana or health, or other benefits. Understanding how these attributes work is important for effective combat.
Addons such as RatingBuster  can show you the actual improvements in game to your Secondary attributes which are more directly applied to combat mechanics.
Strength (often abbreviated STR) has the following effects:
- Increases attack power with melee weapons:
- Improves block value by (Strength / 2), rounding down, for all classes capable of blocking warrior, paladin, and shaman).
- Increases parry rating for death knights by 0.25 parry rating per point of strength.
Strength does not affect the chance to land a critical strike. Strength does not improve the chance to block.
|AGI per 1% Crit|
|Class||L. 60||L. 70||L. 80|
|AGI per 1% Dodge|
|Class||L. 60||L. 70||L. 80|
Agility (often abbreviated AGI) has the following effects:
- Increases attack power with ranged weapons (not including wands) or melee weapons for certain classes.
- Increases armor by 2 per point.
- Increases chance to score a critical hit with a weapon.
- Increases chance to dodge attacks. This is dependent on both class and level.
Agility Equivalence Points is a notable formula for calculating the contribution of agility. It might be outdated with regard to hunters.
Stamina (often abbreviated STA) has the following effects:
- Stamina provides 10 health for each point for all Classes/Mobs/NPCs (except from the first 20 points of Stamina that provide 1 health for each point instead). It also increases health points of a player's pet for classes with pets. There are other non-standard adjustments that can be made for stamina:
- Druids — talent Heart of the Wild (Feral, tier 6) provides a +4% bonus to stamina in bear form per talent point, max 5.
- Tauren Druids — In Dire Bear Form and feral specced, gain the following percentages to stamina: 25% (bear form), 20% (Heart of the Wild), and 6% (Survival of the Fittest), for a total of 15.9 health per stamina. With Blessing of Kings, it jumps to 17.49 health per point of stamina.
- Hunters — talent Survivalist (Survival, tier 3) provides a +2% bonus to stamina per talent, max 5. Hunters also have Endurance Training (Beast Mastery, tier 1) which gives up to a %5 health bonus, effectively giving you up to 11.5 health per point of Stamina.
- Talent Sacred Duty (Protection, tier 6) provides a +4%/+8% bonus to stamina per talent, max 2.
- Talent Combat Expertise (Protection, tier 8) provides a +2%/+4%/+6% bonus to stamina per talent, max 5.
- With both Sacred Duty and Combat Expertise have a stamina modifier of 1.12 with both talents, this does stack with Standard buffs such as Blessing of Kings. Sacred Duty, and Combat Expertise + Kings buff = ~22% increase or 12.2 health per Stamina
- Talent Enlightenment (Discipline, tier 8) provides a +1% bonus to stamina per talent, max 5.
- 30 minute buff Power Word: Fortitude provides 165 stamina at the highest rank, which can be further improved by Improved Power Word: Fortitude (Discipline, tier 2) 30% increase to Power Word: Fortitude, and Prayer of Fortitude, max two talent points, increasing the stamina from 165 (rank 8) to 214.
- Rogues — talent Endurance (Combat, tier 3) provides a +2%/+4% bonus to stamina per talent, max 2.
| L. 60|
| L. 70|
| L. 80|
Intellect (often abbreviated as INT) has the following effects:
- Increases mana points. Each point of intellect gives 15 mana points (except from the first 20 points of Intellect that provide 1 mana for each point instead).
- Increases chance to score a spell critical strike. This increase varies by class and level; in general, the relationship is linear as intellect increases. The rate of increase is generally based on the amount of intellect a class is expected to have at a certain level, given by the following table.  
- As of 2.4, Intellect will increase the amount of MP5 generated by Spirit.
- As of Patch 3.0 every point of Intellect provides 1 attack power with the talent Mental Dexterity (e.g., +70 intellect will give the shaman +70 AP)
- Increases the rate at which weapon skills are learned. Before patch 2.0 this was listed in the tooltip, but it was removed after that. Despite this, tests show that intellect still increases the rate of skillups. If you want to level a weapon skill, asking for an Intellect buff, or using a scroll never hurts.
- Main article: Spirit
Spirit (often abbreviated SPI) has the following effects:
- Increases health and mana regeneration. Spirit affects all characters' mana and hit point regeneration rates in and out of combat.
- Health regeneration from spirit is not active while in combat, except for trolls who gain 10% of their normal health regen in combat from the racial ability "regeneration".
- Mana regeneration is active in combat except for the five seconds immediately after casting a spell (the five second rule). Some class talents and spells allow some mana regeneration during this period.
- As of 2.4, Intellect will increase the amount of MP5 generated by Spirit.
With the exception of primary healers, most notably holy priests and restoration druids, most players tend to consider Spirit to be the most useless Attribute, since it is only good for restoring Health and Mana. The Mana restoration is good for most classes, but melee classes (Warriors, Rogues, Feral Druids, etc.) don't regenerate Health during combat (except Trolls); the small increase in Health regeneration is nowhere near as great as restoration through food or bandages. Warlocks also have an incentive to stack spirit in 3.0X as Fel Armor has been altered to give 30% of total spirit as additional Spell Power which can be further augmented by the 3 point talent Demonic Aegis giving 33%/36%/39% bonus.
Secondary attributes are player stats that affect combat directly. The five primary attributes only indirectly affect combat, by contributing to these attributes.
Combat skills are learned by experience, and have a base value capped at the player's level times five. i.e., a level 50 player will have a maximum defense skill of 250 that can be learned from combat experience.
- Weapon skill - Each weapon type has its own weapon skill: sword (one-handed and two-handed), mace (one-handed and two-handed), axe (one-handed and two-handed), staff, dagger, polearm, bow, crossbow, gun, wand, and unarmed (which includes fist weapons).
- note: Druids weapon skills are always considered max for their level while in feral forms, you will also not recieve increases to weapon skill while in feral form as you aren't actually using it. Moonkin form does still use the equipped weapons however.
- Defense skill - Defense is a player's proficiency at receiving melee damage. Defense contributes to an opponent's miss rate and critical strike chance.
- Weapon damage - Weapon damage is a property of the player's equipped weapon. Melee weapon damage is increased by enchants and sharpening stones. Ranged damage is increased with scopes and ammo or arrows.
- Weapon speed - Weapon speed is a property of the player's equipped weapon and determines the time between attacks with that weapon.
- Attack power - (Abbreviated as AP) Increases damage of an equipped weapon. Attack power is increased directly by gear and buffs with the attack power stat, and indirectly by strength and agility (only for hunters, rogues, and cat-form druids).
- Ranged attack power - (Abbreviated as RAP) Increases damage of an equipped bow, crossbow or gun, but not wands. Ranged attack power is increased similarly to melee attack power.
- Critical Strike - Percentage of attacks that will result in a critical strike. Crit chance is increased directly by critical strike rating, a combat rating, and indirectly by agility.
- Hit - Increases chance to hit with melee weapons by a percentage. Hit chance is increased directly by hit rating, a combat rating.
- Haste - Decreases the time between attacks. This effectively increases weapon speed, but has no effect on cooldowns. Haste is increased directly by haste rating, a combat rating.
- Armor penetration - Reduces the target's armor. Armor penetration is denoted by the text "your attacks ignore X of your opponent's armor."
- Expertise - Reduces the enemy's chance to dodge/parry by .25% per point of expertise.
- Spell power - Increases damage and healing done with spells. The exact amount added varies with the spell's cast time or effect duration. Bonus damage can also apply to only a specific spell school, though items that do this are rare.
- Spell power was added in Patch 3.0.2. Prior to this patch, items would either increase damage and healing equally, or increase healing by a large amount and damage by a small amount, meaning that many items were made for healers specifically.
- Spell hit - Increases the chance spells will hit their target. Spell hit is increased by hit rating, a combat rating
- Spell crit chance - Percentage of spells that will result in a spell critical strike. Spell crit chance is increased directly by critical strike rating, a combat rating, and indirectly by intellect.
- Spell penetration - Reduces the target's resistance. Spell penetration is increased directly by gear with the spell penetration stat.
- Mana regeneration - The rate at which mana is restored, both in combat and out of combat. Mana regeneration is increased by the stat MP5, which is an abbreviation for "mana per 5 seconds". Mana regeneration when not casting spells (for 5 seconds at least) is also increased indirectly by spirit.
- Dodge - Chance to dodge incoming melee attacks. Ranged attacks cannot be dodged. Dodge is increased directly by dodge rating, a combat rating, and indirectly by agility.
- Parry - Chance to parry melee attacks with a melee weapon. Ranged attacks cannot be parried. Parry is increased directly by parry rating, a combat rating.
- Block - Chance to block melee and ranged attacks with a shield. Block is increased directly by block rating, a combat rating.
- Block Value - Damage blocked by a shield. Increased directly by block listed on the shield and block value from other gear. Slightly increased indirectly by strength.
- Defense - Increases defense skill. Defense is increased directly by equipment with defense rating, a combat rating.
- Armor - Decreases physical damage received. Increases your pet's Armor. Armor is always present on equippable items, such as chest pieces and shields. Shields and plate items generally have the most armor, while cloth items have the least.
- Resistance - Decreases the damage taken from magical attacks.
- Resilience - Decreases chance to receive critical hits, reduces critical strike damage, and reduces DoT damage. Resilience is increased through equipment with resilience, a combat rating. Resilience is found on PvP gear.
- Health regeneration - The rate at which health is restored, both in combat and out of combat. Health regeneration is increased by the stat HP5, which is an abbreviation for "health per 5 seconds". Health regeneration out of combat is also increased indirectly by spirit.
- See also: Attack power
Base statistics affect attack power (which contributes to DPS) as follows:
- Strength will always contribute to the physical melee attack power for all classes.
- Rogues, hunters and shamans can also use Agility in addition to Strength to increase their base physical melee attack power. Each point of Agility contributes the same as a point of Strength.
- Druids in Cat Form can also use Agility to increase their base physical melee attack power. However, each point of Strength contributes twice the amount of attack power as does a point of Agility. Agility also affects critical strike percentage which directly affects Cat Form abilities such as Primal Fury. This gives an added artificial attack power.
- Agility is the only primary statistic to affect physical ranged attack power (bows, guns, throwing weapons) for all classes capable of using them. This is especially important for hunters.
- Wand damage is not affected by a primary statistic.
- Agility will increase the chance to score a critical strike with both physical ranged and melee damage for all classes.
- Intellect will increase the chance to score a critical strike with spells. For a mage at level 60, the rate is 1% per 59.5 points of intellect.
- Agility will determine a character's chance to dodge an attack. Rogues and druids (as of 2.03) gain a much stronger bonus to dodge than other classes.
Fighting with two weapons, using off-hand, two-handed
- ^ Was 2; changed to 1 in Hunters section of Patch 2.0.1.
- ^ Hunter Mechanics at official site.
- ^ Druids section of Patch 1.7 notes.
- ^ Tseric 2005-12-01. Re: 100 int can't be = 1% crit. WoW US Mage forum. Archived from the original on 2005-12-01. Retrieved on 2007-10-03.
- ^ Tseric 2006-05-31. Re: 59.5 int per crit for *every* class.. WoW US General forum. Archived from the original on 2006-05-31. Retrieved on 2007-10-03.
- ^ Error on call to Template:ref web: Parameters url and title must be specified.
- ^ Aimbotting 2008-08-30. Intellect afects weapon skill proof. WoW US General forum. Retrieved on 2008-09-06.