From Twitter: Expertise Cap

Questions from Twitter is intended to be a regular Monday Update. If you’d like a question answered post it @weryl on Twitter!

twitter_icons_128You (probably don’t) remember our first installment of Questions from Twitter. That’s likely because 3 people read it. This time, we’re shootin’ for four!

Back then, @veneretio asked:
“What are the hit and expertise caps for an Arms Warrior?”

My discussion on hit is way back down the page, so let’s follow through on that promise and talk about expertise. Expertise works a lot like hit rating, except it reduces the chance to be dodged or parried, rather than the chance to miss.

Expertise’s Effect at 80
One point of expertise decreases the chance that melee attacks made by the player will be dodged or parried by 0.25%.  At level 80, a player requires 8.2 expertise rating to achieve one point of expertise.  8.2 = .25%, therefore 32.8 expertise rating = 1% less chance to be dodged or parried.

Boss’ Chance to Dodge or Parry
Rule #1 of Melee DPS: Don’t pull Aggro. 
Rule #2 of Melee DPS: Don’t stand in front of the boss.

A Mob (and Bosses) have 0% chance to Parry an attack from behind or to their direct flank. They have a 12-15% chance to parry an attack in front. Don’t stand in front. The math is easier, you won’t get cleaved or AoEd and your dps is better. Zero expertise required if you stand behind the mob. How easy is that?

Bosses have a 6.5% chance to Dodge an attack from behind or to their direct flank. (Players have zero from behind. So unfair.)

Expertise Cap from Behind a Boss
Using our earlier math, 32.8 x 6.5 = 213.2 expertise rating required to reduce the boss’ chance of dodging you from behind. The expertise cap to reduce it from in front of the boss is so astronomically high that my calculator wept. True story.

Other Sources of Expertise

Racial Traits – If you’re an Orc, Human, or Dwarf, you probably already know that your racial talents give you expertise with certain weapon types. Orcs get 5 with axes, humans 3 with swords and maces, and dwarves get 5 with maces. That’s 3 or 5 Expertise, not Exp. rating.  If you’re using that weapon type, subtract your racial bonus from 6.5, then multiply the result by 32.8 to work out the expertise rating required now. (Hint: it’s a LOT less.) 


  • Arms Warriors should grab Strength of Arms, which gives you 4 Expertise. You now need only 5.5% reduction or 180.4 exp. rating (assuming you’re using an Axe and aren’t an Orc.)
  • Fury Warriors should take Weapon Mastery, which drops your chance to be dodged by 2%. Take the 4.5% left, subtract any racial talents and work to that number.

If you have more questions, be sure to find me on Twitter or send me an email!



Filed under Warrior

4 responses to “From Twitter: Expertise Cap

  1. I’m still personally on the fence about whether or not Arms Warriors truly benefit from Expertise, given that improved Overpower and other related talents are so tied to that one event. Boss dodged? Overpower. Always hits, almost always crits.

    I’ve yet to see what our sets will look like in 3.1. Stats and set bonuses would be handy to see, and to be perfectly honest, I’d like to see Blizzard embrace the hybrid concept for warriors (since not all warriors want the same things). Plus, the changes they’re planning on making to improve Arms DPS may or may not include bonuses to Overpower… and if it does, then expertise is just that much more wasted space.

  2. I too struggle with it. I’ve regemmed to bump my expertise a bit over time and wish I had taken a WWS each time to have datapoints between there and here.

    I’ve noticed Overpower as a significantly smaller portion of my DPS and I’m thinking about gemming back out of expertise in a few places to crank it back down in an effort to work out what effects it’s having on overpower.

  3. I haven’t gemmed for it, but our “DPS Set” is just riddled with the stuff. I think I’m going to have to go straight to the Warrior forums and bring this up, because it’s crippling our damage output by all but eliminating one of our abilities.

    Blizzard needs to go to three different sets for each class; there’s really no other way to handle it right.

  4. Atgard

    Your analysis is not quite right. The racial bonus of 5 expertise rating gives you 1.25% less chance to be dodged or parried (0.25% per point of expertise). While you had it right at the start, you confused it at the end when you talked about racial bonuses and Strength of Arms. Adding 4 expertise will reduce the dodge chance by 1.0%, down to 5.5% (not 2.5% as it currently states in the article).

    Another note is that expertise is a great stat for off-tanking (or soloing), as it works to reduce dodges AND parries, and also reduces parry-hasted attacks from the mob as a bonus. And while melee should THEORETICALLY always be behind the boss/mob, there are times that’s not possible, or you’re running into position, or whirlwinding a bunch of mobs facing different directions, etc.

    One down side for expertise, however, is that it doesn’t work on all attacks. For example, a ret paladin’s judgements can not be dodged or parried (although they can miss), so expertise does not help them.