reviewed and accurate
Reviewed 10/11/10
Patch 4.0.1 OUTDATED

Note: As of Patch 4.0.1 armor penetration rating (ArP) is no longer a stat on gear, no longer available on gems, and it is no longer possible to cap armor pen. It exists only through the armor reduction raid buff, and caps at 12%.

WotLK brought a lot of armor pen rating to our hunter gear. And let’s face it, armor penetration is a perennially debated topic. A lot of this is because the effectiveness of armor penetration rating keeps changing: it got buffed in patch 3.1, then nerfed in patch 3.2, then blissfully armor penetration stayed put for patch 3.3.

This guide will explain exactly how hunter armor penetration and armor pen rating works now, including the current hunter armor penetration cap – and like all WHU WoW guides, we’ll update it anytime something changes.

The Simple Version of Armor Penetration

Before the math, here’s the simple explanation of armor pen rating as far as a hunter cares: Armor Penetration Rating is a good stat, and gets better the more you have of it. MM hunters get the most use out of armor pen, and SV the least. Armor pen only boosts our physical damaging shots (steady shot, aimed shot, multi-shot, kill shot).

Just because your armor pen reduces your opponent’s armor by 10%, does not mean it increases your dps by 10% You need something around 60 armor pen rating to get a 1% dps boost off of a raid boss (assuming sunder armor is up).

Hunter Armor Penetration Cap

It’s possible (especially with patch 3.3 gear) to have too much armor pen so that some of it is basically wasted. We refer to this as the armor pen cap. The armor penetration cap is not affected by target debuffs (ie. sunder/faerie fire) thus the armor pen soft caps are as follows:

How Armor Works

To really understand armor penetration, we first have to understand how armor works, and that armor has diminishing returns. By diminishing returns we just mean that you need more and more armor to get the same amount of damage reduction. So twice as much armor won’t stop twice the percentage of damage.

Some terribly clever people have data mined the Damage Reduction Percentage (or DR%) formula. This is it:

DR% = Armor / (Armor + 400 + 85 * (AttackerLevel + 4.5 * (AttackerLevel – 59)))

Now, we can just plug in the values for a level 80 character and simplify the formula down to this:

DR% = Armor / (Armor + 15,232.5)

Okay, that’s easier to work with. Let’s check out a guy with 5,000 armor. According to the formula, if a mob has 5,000 armor, it has a 24.71% damage reduction. Fair enough.

Now, let’s try doubling his armor to 10,000 armor. We punch in the numbers and we see that 10,000 armor on the mob gives him 39.63% damage reduction. We doubled the armor, but the percentage of damage reduction only went up by about half!

The important thing to note here is that lower armor amounts contribute disproportionately more damage reduction. And this is why armor penetration is better and better the more you have of it.

So that’s the basics of how armor works, and with that formula you can calculate exactly how good your % armor pen is against targets with various armor amounts. Let’s take a look…

Hunter Armor Penetration Rating

14 Armor Pen Rating will reduce an opponent’s armor by 1%

The important thing to note on here is that our hunter armor pen rating is reducing our opponent’s armor, not his damage reduction. Just the armor. So reducing an opponent’s armor by 1% will not increase your damage by 1% — to do that you have to reduce your opponent’s damage reduction from armor by 1%.

Let’s look at an example to demonstrate. Let’s say we have 140 armor pen rating, for a 10% reduction in our opponent’s armor. This is a logical number to use because Frostheim likes easy math.

Our opponent with 10,000 armor is reducing our damage by 39.63%. Our 10% armor pen will knock a thousand armor off of him. Sweet! Now he has only 9,000 armor. We do the math, and we see that his damage reduction is reduced to 37.14% damage reduction. So reducing his armor by 10% gave us only a 2.49% decrease in his damage reduction, which is a 2.49% increase in our overall physical dps.

Now let’s take the same opponent but this time we have 280 armor pen rating, for a 20% armor reduction. Now instead of reducing his armor by 1,000, we’re reducing it by 2,000, down to 8,000 armor. He now has a 34.4% damage reduction. So we’ve increased our physical dps by 5.23%. In other words, the first 10% armor pen gave us 2.49% physical dps increase, and the 2nd 10% gave us 2.74% increase. The higher our armor pen gets, the more benefit we get from each percentage reduction.

How it Works in Raids

Now that we understand armor pen, let’s apply it to a raid situation.

A typical WotLK raid boss as about 10,643 armor. But we know there will be a warrior applying Sunder Armor, and that it will stack 5 times, reducing the boss’ armor by 20% (4% for each sunder) before we count the effect of our own armor penetration. Therefore the boss will have 8,514 armor. We can also expect a Faerie Fire from a druid, reducing the boss’ armor by 5%, which again is counted separately, reducing the boss’ armor to 8,088. The boss now has about a 34.7% damage reduction from armor.

Our 10% armor pen, gained from a 140 armor pen rating, will reduce the boss’ armor to 7,279 armor, which gives him a damage reduction of 32.3%. So on a typical WotLK raid boss, the first 10% armor pen gives you a 2.4% physical dps increase. But every 10% beyond that will give you a larger and larger physical dps increase.

Should I Stack Armor Pen?

You can see our full explanation of Armor Pen vs Agility for details – but basically most hunters are better off stacking agility. You need something around 800 passive armor pen before 1 armor pen become better than 1 agility.

For a closer look at how to judge it against other stats, glance at our Spreadsheet Guide on how to compare gear.

Facebook Twitter Snailmail
  1. Arti says:

    very helpful, very much appreciated!!

  2. McDiggity says:

    are you sure 327.9armor pen=10% armor reduction. Because i have an armor pen rating of 127and it says i reduce armor by 8.25%

  3. Stone says:

    Sooo…. Would you say that “Grim Toll” would be a poor trinket for a hunter?

    Equip + 83 hit
    Equip 612 Armor Pen for 10 sec.

  4. Snaga says:

    It is planned for the ulduar patch to change sunder armor to reduce mob armor by 4% per stack, in order to make it less powerful as a raid buff.

    At the same time creature armor will be globally reduced so that after sunder armor the mobs will still have 9000 armor.

    So expect creature armor at roughly 11250 after that patch.

  5. Mustardcat says:

    Finally, someone cleared all this up. great post and as far as i’m concerned armor pen while not being completely worthless is pretty close. In response to Stone, i just want grim toll so i can free up some hit gems. 83 hit from one item is amazing and the armor pen proc wont hurt either.

  6. cpdragon says:

    Hello !
    Just one question:
    If armor penetration sucks, why in maxdps is mentioned the trinket Grim toll as the second best in dps ?
    Trinket gives 84 hit and on equip 612 armor pen for 12 sec.
    Is really this trinket the second best for dps ?

  7. Frostheim says:

    Armor pen is a pretty crappy stat. It certainly helps our dps, just less so than the equivalent of *anything* else.

    Grim Toll rocks, because 84 hit is HUGE. 612 armor pen on proc is a nice little boost, but hit is the big reason to love it. On a point for point basis, hit is more valuable than anything else.

  8. Morakill says:

    They must have changed it since this post was made. Currently i have 231 armor pen on the dot and that is 15% as my char sheet says. if you translate this using your math, that’s 3.81% extra dps. that doesn’t mean 3.81 dps that means % dps, so if you do 2000dps raid buffed, that’s an extra 76 or so dps. 14ap is 1dps; this means it would take 1064 AP to match that. if you have over 300 armor pen like in your example, good god that’s worth something. If I made a miscalculation somehow plz let me know because I’d like to understand this sense I want to do the most dps also. as for right now though, even if it’s 2.5% dps in the big picture, there isn’t really one stat that can match that when stacked. even 2.5% would still take 700AP to = the armor pen if you were pumping out 2000dps.

  9. Frostheim says:

    There are a couple problems with your math. The biggest one by far is this:

    14ap = 1 dps.

    This is partially true, but that is only the WHITE dps. The AP is also adding to your serpent sting, steady shot, explosive shot, or whatever. So 700 AP is giving you 50 white dps, but it’s also giving you far more than 50 yellow dps in addition.

    Also keep in mind the equivalences when you get ArP. In item budgets you get either 1 arp, 1 agility, or 2 AP. 1 Agility or 2 AP will give you WAY more dps than 1 ArP.

    Like I said, armor pen will not hurt you, it will help you, but it will help you less than just about anything else you’re going to get.

  10. cpdragon says:

    Hi Frostheim,
    If you had to choose between two trinkets: Grim Troll and Mirror of Truth, wich one would you choose ?
    My trinkets are Mirror of Truth and Fury of five fights.

  11. Morakill says:

    Thanks for the post man, I thought there was something screwy with the math and that explains it. Does armor pen work for yellow damage as well? how would you calculate something like how much dps that AP gives you in yellow damage? steady shot for instance. You didn’t mention much about haste rating either. (I haven’t played wotlk very long but i’ve raided endgame BC) I know that haste was hard to stack and use in BC, has it changed in position of importance or do you still need to stack it incredibly to get any real benefit? I’m MM right now sense i’ve heard BM was nerfed so the shot rotation thing won’t bother me.

  12. Tsailencer says:

    cpdragon…not sure what fury of five fights does, but almost all hunters would take both grim troll and mirror of truth together…only trinket that I can think of that would negate taking one of those 2 is the agility card trinket…a proc of 300 agility would be awsome

  13. Frostheim says:

    Fury of the Five Flights is basically 320 AP. It is awesomesauce.

    The Grim Toll or Mirror of Truth decision is based on how much you need the hit rating. Need it a lot? Take Grim. Okay on hit? Take Mirror.

  14. Krystallia says:

    Following on from your comment Frostheim, if hit isn’t needed, and you are tired of the random proccing of MoT, look out for Loatheb’s Shadow as an alternative.

    Loatheb’s Shadow
    Equip: Improves critical strike rating by 84.
    Use: Increases attack power by 670 for 20 sec.
    Cooldown: 2 min

    From my way of thinking, combining the use function of LS macrod with Call of the Wild and Rapid Fire would make for quite an effective combo.

    And yes, FotFF……words cannot describe it’s effectiveness! :D

  15. Faxx says:

    Let’s not forget ArP gives 0% increase to your explosive shot, arcane shot, serpent sting and chimera shot+serpent sting proc damage.
    It will also not effect traps and black arrow after 3.1.

  16. Thom says:

    The mirror of truth only gives crit.. the proc on it is only for mele. unless the tool tip is wrong. Can anyone confirm that?

  17. Frostheim says:

    Mirror of Truth does in fact give both ranged and melee attack power – the tooltip is wrong.

  18. Spivic says:

    What do you think now because of the patch, I have 96 armor pen and 7.79 armor reduction. regemming for arp i could have 240 ArP. With 3.1 how much do you think that’d help my dps? worth ditching agil gems? Ditch 145 agil for 145 ArP?

  19. Tsailencer says:

    Ive been noticing that a lot of the gear for hunters in patch 3.1 is loaded with ARP…so much so, that it seems they’re reducing our haste and crit stats by overloading ARP…havent gotten any of the new gear yet, so I’ll have to see how it works out..but I’d have to say, in my opinion, don’t ever trade AGI for anything unless your in need for HR

  20. Deathwarden says:

    I have noticed on some sites, such as, it shows the buff food that gives you 40 arm pen being more dps than the 80 attack power foods. With your math does that sound right, or would the 80 AP be more of a dps increase?

  21. Ishatain says:

    Interesting, how do i kill Death Knights faster in BG?

    Everything else seems to die fast enuff :)

  22. Joe says:

    I think your math is wrong for the increased dps. If a boss 10,000 armor and damage reduction of 39.63%, he is taking 60.37% of our damage. If you reduce his armor by 10% to make his damage reduction 37.14%, taking 62.86% of the damage that you inflict, the increase in dps would be:

    (62.86-60.37)/60.37= 4.12%

    The increase in the damage taken has to be compared to the damage that was originally taken, not the base damage that you are inflicting.

  23. Frostheim says:

    Good point — this article only judges the damage difference in base damage. I’ll have to go back and rework it when I have some time… well, if I decide that the difference bothers me enough. All the math holds up, but the dps increase percentage is based on base instead of base reduced.

  24. quiv says:

    ok so armor pen has my attention. heres why.

    i run in a guild with another hunter who is MM. he is poorer geared than me. i am 213+ except for wraith spear. he has a few 213 but mostly 200 and some 187 (i think its 187). his gear is typical 10/25 man naxx mixup (undeath carrier for example) with a few weaker pieces. he has grim toll and mot, i have mot and bandits insignia (have tried loathebs shadow to).

    i have copied his build and asked him about his rotation, ive checked gems, enchants, buff foods, you name it. he is hit capped, as am i. i know my rotation for both SV and MM. this guy matches, if not surpasses me in DPS constantly, regardless of my spec (even the same one). i have a wolf, he a raptor. ive studied recount for hours against him, and the only wild card he has that i dont is Grim Toll, which has the 612 armor pen proc. i dont have one yet, but i want one for testing cuz thats the ONLY thing i can think of. i dont mind another hunter is beating me in dps, i just want to know what i can do to raise mine and add more to the raid.

    im curious if any of yall have played with grim toll? (

  25. Purp says:

    I love you.
    I’m glad I never thought too far into this because that would’ve just hurt.. But I’m fairly sure I get it now. And while I would’ve had priority on agility or reaching my hit cap before, I”m glad now I have more of a reason then ‘it’s just better’.

  26. Kakashi says:

    Just to let u and everyone out there to know, ArP IS a stat to stack even over Agi… the thing is, the more ArP the more it helps. (don`t look this numbers they are just examples) if u have 10 ArP u get 1% if u have 20 ArP u get 3%… know what I mean? Thats why u should stack it, my dps increased a LOT. I have 368 rating which is 29.88%

  27. Frostheim says:

    Kakashi: Oooookayyy. I’m trying to think of a nice way to say this but…. you are factually incorrect in everything you say.

    1 agil is much better than 1 armor pen.

    Armor pen scales linearly, not exponentially like you say. So if 10 gives you 1% reduction, then 20 gives you 2% reduction. And, had you bothered to read the article you’re commenting on, you’d see that 12.31 gives you a 1% armor reduction. We can even prove it’s a linear progression with your character: 368 / 12.31 = your 29.8% armor reduction.

    Please feel free to disagree with guides here, but if you want to do that, point out the errors in the math or the theorycrafting. Just saying something like “No ArP is awesome lol!” is neither helpful nor true nor flattering to yourself.

    Finally, note that 29.8% reduction in armor does *not* increase your damage by 29.8%.

  28. Arust says:

    Also, and this is from a blue post, but the 29.8% on your tooltip has two very important words before it. “up to”. Armor Penetration reating X (Enemy Armor Reduced by up to Y%).”

    So when it helps you, it only has a very limited chance of helping you up to the max. Most of the time it helps less.

    Ghost Crawler on ArP

    Most important statement is last:
    GC: “The tooltip is not actually inaccurate, as it states: “Enemy armor reduced by up to 30.00%.” That “up to” is key.”

  29. Arust says:

    And if you make it through that, gratz. But its neither exponential or OP.

  30. zlaD says:

    Um, I think Kakashi ment the effectivenes will increase? correct me ofcourse if im wrong but I remember reading that if u have like 10ArP ur will gain for example 1% dmg increase, but if u have 20ArP u will gain 3%? but the prosentual ArP will remain the same ofcourse?

  31. Gurry says:

    I too use the grim toll and noticed a drastic increase of dps when first equip. And as a MM hunter yur main shot is auto shot followed by arcane most of the time and also steady shot which is used quite often as well , all 3 of which are affected by ArP, so in the MM hunter case it seems like it would be equivalent to Att Pwr or Agi. I understand what you said throughout the atticle with the ratios which is why this is strickly for MM hunters. It just seems to me like ArP pen does alot more for a MM hunter who uses it with the primary shots unlike say a SV hunter. I personally would just like the Crit, Att Pwr, and Agi back but blizz wants to be difficult lol.

  32. tbz says:

    Seems easy enough to understand.

    13000 armor gives 46.05% damage reduction. To gain 1% damage, you need to lower the armor to 12490. That’s a 3.92% reduction, which is 48.29 ArP.

    But if a warrior has stacked sunder, then the boss armor is now 10400, giving 40.57% damage reduction, so to get 1% increase in damage [for yourself] you need 50.31 ArP.

    As was mentioned before, ArP has no effect on non-physical damage – fire [explosive shot], shadow [black arrow], nature [serpent sting], arcane [arcane shot], etc. – which bypass armor anyway, and it doesn’t transfer to your pet, so it’s affect is limited to Auto Shot and Steady Shot.

    I’m not sure about BM or MM, but AS and StS only make up around 15% of my SV DPS, so 503.1 ArP for 2000 DPS (where only 300 DPS is physical) would get an extra 30 DPS.

    Not worth it IMHO.

  33. Wildshot says:

    Someone needs to goto maxdps and give them a good beat down everything on there points to stacking ArP over any other stat prioritzing the gear with ArP over any stat and pushing the Fractured gem as “THE GEM” to slot. Elistest Jerk dosent go as far but the genreal consensus still claim that a ArP number between 500-600 should be reached before stacking agility. So being a new hunter (usually raid with my boomkin) I am totally lost with what system to use to prioritize my future gear needs. Is there or isnt there a soft cap for ArP before you go stacking agility or ap or vice versa a agility cap before you focus on ArP? Just curious.

  34. Frostheim says:

    I’ve long since given up paying attention to maxdps; however, I’m fascinated about the elitist jerks comment, which I’ve not seen and runs counter to Shandra’s Spreadsheet results (which most elitist jerks use heavily) — could you post the link to where they say you want 500 arp before agil? Because that seems to make no kind of sense.

  35. Wildshot says:

    This is the ending of the thread but the first post on the page states that once you get 650ArP raiting itsbest to stack ArP than any other stat unless I misuderstood the poster.

  36. Wildshot says:

    Just a FYI, Im not trying to disprove your math here I just want to make sure Im doing the right things to get my dps to where it needs to be. I currently have pretty much gemmed all slots with +16 agility except for my Meta and the required color gems to activate it but then I saw Max Dps and the thread on Eliest jerks and I started wondering if I am going in the right direction :)

  37. Frostheim says:

    According to the Elitist Jerks thread, ArP is better than agility only *after* you have over 600 ArP. Thus before then, you should be stacking agility over ArP. If you stack the ArP first to get to the floor, then you’re losing a ton of dps on your way.

    I do not yet have the gear with that crazy much ArP on it, so I have not been able to do any in-game testing; however, for the vast majority of players (for the time being) Agil will be better than ArP. Only with the Ulduar 25 gear, and plenty of it, will you need to start rethinking that :)

  38. Wildshot says:

    Ah makes more sense now since I couldnt find anyway to get close to the 600ArP they were talking about at my current gear level. Guess its time to push the Heroic Ulduar and get some ArP gear. Thanks for the quick response its much appreciated.

  39. Blur says:

    OK what I want to know is how ArP works on the mech bosses in Ulduar and how you can identify the amount of armor the bosses have anyway.

    Side note: my math tells me ArP roughly = 2 AP on an average WotLK boss.

    So ArP is nice but in no case should it be stacked unless there is an increased benefit from high armor Ulda mech bosses.

    imo: Pyrite Infuser > Grim Toll

  40. PunisherHunt says:

    I just really want to thank you Frostheim, I hope this helps all hunters around the world just like it helped me.

    I really do apreciate it

  41. Cea says:

    I am quite glad to finally have read a good in-depth analyse of this stat. I currently have 13% armour reduction and i do good dps(in my own opinion). I am SV specced, i just wonder what spec is best for Armour Pen. Sorry if i missed it in the thread.

    Darkmoon Faire

  42. Kemono says:

    Frostheim, what is your opinion of 4p conc set bonus vs off set gear with straight stats? 2p is a must tho.

  43. Huntert says:

    I have done a ton of research on this topic and the main thing that people don’t seem to understand is that armor pen is only going to help you with physical attacks. A survival hunter doesn’t have nearly as many physical attacks in his rotation that a marksman hunter would. I have found that armor pen for my survival spec is absolutaly useless, AP, Crit and haste are much more important. On the other hand, for a marksman hunter it makes a huge impact and is almost prefered over things like haste.

  44. Arthemystia says:

    Great point Huntert. I was fortunate that an SV hunter in my raid group figured that out for me, so that when there’s a great ArP piece, it usually goes to me as an MM.

    Fortunately, the WHU helps us out with this some. A quick look at the EAP guide (linked in the article) shows that ArP is weighted higher for MM than SV. The numbers are near identical themselves; but in relation to other stats, the MM rating is much higher (because the other MM stats are comparatively lower). I might take exception to it universally being worse than haste for a SV hunter, but that would depend largely on the theorycrafting source and evidence…but the general idea is there, and it is an important one.


  45. analia says:

    Only to put in my 2 cents on the matter. I’m covered in a decent amount of ulduar 25 man gear, and have stacked up 400 ArP and have grim toll, making over 100% armor reduction when it procs, which is often during any raid boss fight, including the new bosses in 3.2. However, in my oppinion, the new gear coming from the new instances and raids will be containing a lot more ArP while the only stat being sacrificed noticably being haste which for BM hunters will not make a huge deal, however for MM you still need haste and ArP. If You’re surv and have less than 250 ArP better stay surv. However, as soon as I hit 300 ArP I switched over to MM and now pull over 5k on heroic target dummys in IF, compared to 3.5k in survival spec. Kill shot is also an amazing thing when you have the proper ArP giving me crits well into 30k.

  46. Oxoboxo says:

    I’m a MM hunter with 616 Armpen rating, with gems and gear. My question is now that i reached the cap is it worthwhile to keep geming in ArmorPen or should I switch to AP Gems as long as I don’t go below 600 ArmorPen rating? Or should I just keep stacking ArmorPen and get it as high as i Can?

  47. Frostheim says:

    You should switch to Agility and keep your armor pen right around 619 (assuming you have one of the armor pen proc trinkets as well).

    If you increase your armor pen, then when your trinket procs you will have too much and some of it will be wasted.

  48. Oxoboxo says:

    For trinkets I use the Pyrite infuser and the Banner of Victory. But you think Agility instead of Attack power, for MM hunter?

    Also, thank you for your time

  49. Nadindel says:

    i was just told to go this site by a friend. and i am truely amazed, this sight is amazing. ive been on it for hours now. this ARP is a great guide btw, love it, heals soo much

  50. Sunbane says:

    OK, so after reading this there is basically no real change to stat priority however ArPen is a nice addition if it drops your way. Currently I have 5.3k AP, 5% haste, 40% crit and ArPen of 429 (30.65%) and am above the hit cap…… should I be changing anything?

  51. Nirav says:

    If u are a MM hunter then arp is way toooo low… u shd try and get that arp rating alot higher if u want ur dps to be more effective …

  52. Reddayhunter says:

    Hello! awesome site says i have 304 ArP, and i dont know how i´m going to get 500-600 of it, maybe i think wrong or what ?, I´ve been going MM, for some weeks now, but i o much better dps in survival spec. Check my character and feel free to theorycraft.

  53. Torkrot says:

    I’m a MM-Hunter with 1015 ArP unbuffed (1120 Bufffood + Alchielix.)
    The following table demonstrates the DPS in ArP-progress, if
    there is no warrior and druid in raid (Armor sunder + faerie fire)

    ArP % Armor Damage % more % DPS
    of boss Absorb DPS Growth

    0 0 13000 46,05 0,00 0,00
    140 10 11700 43,44 2,60 2,60
    280 20 10400 40,57 5,47 2,87
    420 30 9100 37,40 8,65 3,17
    560 40 7800 33,87 12,18 3,53
    700 50 6500 29,91 16,14 3,96
    840 60 5200 25,45 20,60 4,46
    980 70 3900 20,38 25,66 5,07
    1120 80 2600 14,58 31,47 5,80 -Row.

    My question:
    If there is sunder armor up, how does Arp works now,
    version 1 or like version 2?

    Version 1:

    ArP % Armor Damage % more % DPS
    of boss Absorb DPS Growth

    0 0 10400 40,57 0,00 0,00
    140 10 9100 37,40 3,17 3,17
    280 20 7800 33,87 6,71 3,53
    420 30 6500 29,91 10,66 3,96
    560 40 5200 25,45 15,12 4,46
    700 50 3900 20,38 20,19 5,07
    840 60 2600 14,58 25,99 5,80
    980 70 1300 7,86 32,71 6,72
    1120 80 0 0,00 40,57 7,86
    1260 90 0 0,00 40,57 0,00
    1400 100 0 0,00 40,57 0,00

    Version 2:

    ArP % Armor Damage % more % DPS
    of boss Absorb DPS Growth

    0 0 10400 40,57 0,00 0,00
    140 10 9360 38,06 2,51 2,51
    280 20 8320 35,33 5,25 2,74
    420 30 7280 32,34 8,24 2,99
    560 40 6240 29,06 11,51 3,28
    700 50 5200 25,45 15,12 3,61
    840 60 4160 21,45 19,12 4,00
    980 70 3120 17,00 23,57 4,45
    1120 80 2080 12,01 28,56 4,99
    1260 90 1040 6,39 34,18 5,62
    1400 100 0 0,00 40,57 6,39

    Version 1 assumes that ArP depends on the basic armor of 13000, so if i got 1120 ArP, so I would have reached the cap.
    Version 2 assumes that ArP depends on the basic armor of 10400 (20% armor sunder).

    In Version 1 I only have to reach the cap of 1120 ArP, if there is a warrior in Raid.
    In Version 2 it is worthwile, to capture the cap of 1400, even though the damage gain is less than version 1.

  54. Frostheim says:

    The armor pen cap is not affected by target debuffs — thus the cap is 1400, as it says in the guide. Even with sunder armor and faerie fire. Even without them.

  55. K says:

    Would it be ok to equip both Needle-Encrusted Scorpion and Grim Toll or would it not be a good idea? Just curious seeing that I have both.

  56. drivnhuntr says:

    Prob if u have 0 Arp if u dont have 0 Arp it would be a waste b/c u would be past the cap

  57. Tlord says:

    Needle-Encrusted Scorpion vs Banner of Victory:

    Now, I’ve worked out some numbers and taken into consideration “Equip:” stats… Without getting to deep into it.. Banner of Victory = 6.82% ArP and an increase of around 21dps with its proc (down and uptime calculated). Needle-Encrusted Scorpion = (about) 10.5% ArP (up/downtime considered assuming it procs the second the CD expires, inconsistant at best). Now i have no complainants towards the 2.48% crit (Equip:)and have yet to number crunch the dps output on it ( Assuming that it is based on many variables)… IF your crit is high enough (my recount charts show around 70%+ on any shot I do in my raids) that 10.5% ArP wont decrease much with its possible proc time being missed.. so… 21dps (again this should b increased by many other variables) OR a consistant 2.48% crit.. Answers/Comments?

  58. Tlord says:

    Found My Answer, No Comments Needed and I Feel Dumb For Asking :P

  59. help needing says:

    is it better to have like 80% arp ub and without arp trinket or arp cap with trinket?

  60. WannabePVPhunter says:

    This has become a long thread and im not sure this question ahs been covered.

    The Ferocity pet Wasp with the 5% armor reduction sting counts as bout 70 APR and towards the 1400 cap or is it one of the target debuffs that doesn’t?

    Thanks in advance.

  61. Frostheim says:

    The wasp is one of the debuffs (same as faerie fire) – they do not count toward the 1400 cap.

  62. Jihoro82 says:

    “Needle-Encrusted Scorpion: 722 armor pen rating for the soft cap”

    I got the trinket and the soft cap now what should I gem the other gems? pure agi or ap?

  63. Tumbus says:

    Ok does the soft cap mean when you equip the trinket such as Mjolnir Runestone: if you get 735 armor penwith it equpiied, not on proc, but passive; you can or possibly start gemming for armor pen?

  64. Bindura says:

    The soft cap refers to the maximum passive ArP you want with the trinket. That is if you have more than 735 ArP with the runestone equiped you are going to go over 1400 ArP when it procs, meaning some of the ArP from the proc is wasted . The more you go over the proc the worse the trinket becomes untill the point where other trinkets are better for your dps.

    At this point you would look to have Agi/AP/Crit trinkets and hardcap ArP. When you go for the ArP hardcap you would regem to ArP, use ArP food buffs etc. There is a risk though…when you start stacking ArP maximising your auto and steady shots becomes essentail. Failing to do so means losing dps.

  65. Tumbus says:

    That clears it up for me and many people asking about it thank you for the response.

  66. Kodein says:

    i was running ICC25 last nigth for the 1st time with an apr build. ArP 730 and then NES,
    But it was one big disapointment my DPS actually went down alot.I usually dont have problem doing around 7-8 on bossfigths, but that i didnt with arp build.Im going back to good old Agillity know, and wil MAYBE look inti arp again when i can hardcap it.I also noticed the uptime on NES trinket was around 4.5% that i think is not enough for my taste.
    But maybe my playstyle is just wrong.

  67. Nasul says:

    I just recently switched from a SV build to my current MM ArP build. Ive been doing the math and checking the spreadsheet and noticed, (btw my armor pen is only 358 right now) even with my low armor pen the armor pen build and rotation is still better for dps. I also went the long route by inputting stats 1 by 1 arp vs agi to see if there was a point where arp actually passes agility and noticed that they increase dps point for point at the same rate when you are close to hard cap but arp NEVER surpassed agility and was always lower than it till you got closer to the 1300 mark with armor pen, trinkets procing or just plain old armor pen either way. So from what i figure it would never be *better* to stack arp over agi. Granted if you do have one of the armor pen trinkets you CAN stack armpen but u lose around 0.1 dps per point compared to agility. (may be a little more than that…just a rough paper napkin figure) So you lose 2 dps per gem if u replace 20 agi with 20 arm pen. Not a big deal so do what u want with it imho.

  68. Norjia says:

    In the How it Works in Raids section, there is an error in your math.

    You claim that 40.57% will be reduced to 38.06%, which yeilds a 2.51% dps increase (the difference of the two).

    In fact, you would get a 2.51% / (100% – 40.57%) dps increase (4.22%). Also note that this applies only to physical damage, meaning you need to determine the overall amount of your own damage that is physical and include other factors that influence physical damage (ie movement) to truly determine the worth of ArP.

    Actually, the second sentence above might be worth adding to the article. The different specs gaining different value from ArP implies that the amount of physical damage that you do is important, but doesn’t state it. Nowhere do I see the important fact that movement heavy fights reduce the value of ArP, especially if you don’t scoot your boot properly. The various spreadsheets seem to give a lot of people the mistaken idea that ArP is going to be way better for them, which doesn’t come out to as large a difference in practice.

  69. CancerX says:

    The above statement that arp doesn’t pass agi is wrong. Arp passes agi at 1120 arp

  70. Shadaki says:

    Currently I’m at 688 ArP without Gems… I also do have the ability to get logsplitters, which would put me over 700 ArP. Should I get those and go straight into gemming with 20ArP and 34ArP gems? I noticed if I do that, along with my Needle-Crusted Scropian trinket, I’m well over the 1400 mark with the proc. Or should I get Deathbringers will, THEN gem ArP? Just wondering and was looking for some good input from fellow hunters, thanks.

    Shadaki, Vek’nilash

  71. Mario says:

    correct me if wrong:

    a: 40AP gem is nowadays better then 20 agi for MM hunter

    b: equipping the scorpion needle while stacking 40 AP on all items

    11k dps gearscore 5800 MM hunter

  72. Alex says:

    Unless something has changed since March of last year, you don’t always get the full benefit of your tooltip Armor Penetration. Post by GC here ( gives the formula for how effective your ArP is.

    Not sure if you want to go into this much detail in the guide.

  73. dude says:

    Ive been stacking arp since ulduar and it has never done me wrong..i can eliminate arcane shot from my rotation as well as get twice as many piercing shots going…if ur good with movement and are geared enough i say go arp over agi anyday… good article though

  74. Raild says:

    Quick question.

    I’m sitting at 590Arp Passive (w JC 3x39ArP Gems, for a little boost, the rest is Agility Gem 20s)

    I’m sitting around 56.30 RCrit / 5452AP base and using Needle for ArP Proc.

    I could regem and hit around 890 or so ArP Passive, but obviously lose a bit of AP / Crit in the process.

    My gear is here:

    Should I regem to get the extra benefit and go for Passive Cap? Would I noticed that much of a difference with a higher passive?

  75. Grakith says:

    Hey, just want to toss in my two cents. At the beginning of WoTLK, yes stacking agi was much better for all hunter dps because there wasn’t enough gear with high enough ArP to significantly increase our dps. But, as the game went on and patches came out it became a much more viable spec of hunter especially with one of the ArP trinkets so you can hit soft cap. As a survival hunter, you should never stack ArP, because not enough of your attacks are pure wep damage. But when you go MM, if you take arcane shot out of your rotation you can see a significant increase to DPS. but in the end, if you can get your ArP higher than 700, you should go MM without arcane. Also, a lot of MM hunters don’t realize that wasp pets have a sting that reduces enemy armor by 5%, which helps in your quest for ArP cap.
    Happy hunting!

  76. Frostheim says:

    The wasp buff is the same as druid faerie fire, and they do not stack. Also the major and minor armor debuffs do NOT help you reach the ArP cap. Different ArP effects stack multiplicitively, and you always need 1400 ArP rating to hardcap, wither sunder is up or not.

  77. dude says:

    Just throwing this out there to all arp hunters….feral druids and arms warriors are ur best friends

  78. Hey, Im just trying to figure out whats wrong with my DPS, and what I need to change around with gems, etc to fix it. Bass stats for me:
    Haste 45
    AP 4932
    Hit 8.49%, with talents
    ArP 721 with 5 arP gems, currently.
    Crit 59.64%

    I use needle-encrusted scorpian to reach my ArP cap, which i need to upgrade (hopefully to deathbringers will).

    I am a MM hunter, and use a build very similar to the one that you have on, that you mentioned for ArP vs Agil guide. I am currently not using Arcane shot in my rotation, instead steady shot. You can check my char at “”

    This is what I am thinking, cause my DPS is low, I have two options:
    1) Sacrifice some crit to get my AP up by stacking AP gems
    2) Start stacking ArP, over AP (but i think my AP is to low for this, and will drop even more if i do this, by the amount equal to 11 agil gems), and use a different trinket, thinking Hit one from triumph vendor, and swapping my neck to an ArP one.

    I just want some advice before I spend all my money on regemming,

    I also have one other question about latency and how it effects your DPS, cause I sit on around 350-500 latency, and i believe this may be part in part with the ‘bad’ DPS I am pulling.

    Thankyou anyone who helps =)

  79. Rex says:

    Hey all…

    This is heavy reading, but for a MM hunter who skiped arcane shot, what is then best agi ore Armor Pen???
    My agi is 1748 and my Armor Pen is 425 My dps un buffed is about 3,8k (icc buffed 6,5k)
    My gems is half agi, helf Armor Pen

    You all made me confuest :P

  80. Etherolla says:

    Heya Frostheim, if ya get a chance to get this out, I know dont really do this but could you check out my armory link and see wether or not I should gem ArP, and if so, how much should I go for? Thanks alot mate.

  81. samiam says:

    I am MM spec and i waited til i hit 802 passive, then went for it, i put +20 ArP gems and my 3 +34 ArP gems in everything except for the meta, 1 nightmare tear and 1 puissant dreadstone to activate the 21 crit rating and 3% crit dmg bonus meta; my gearscore is 3170 something on wow-heroes, i am fairly decently geared. i was very worried about it because i lost 510 agility and my unbuffed crit went from 62% to 50%, but my ArP is now 1239 without ArP food, 1279 with, of course; but like i said, still very nervous about losing all that wonderful agility and crit. Hit ICC 25 tonight for the first time since. I am happy to report that it was a success. There is another hunter in our raid who is overall usually right with me, we were always very close, he did beat me on some fights simply because he refuses to kill bone spikes, etc., he feels like it is everyone elses job, but i digress. Tonight i blasted him, was a full % or 2 over him on most fights, gunship being the largest exception, he beat me, but i had to jump into a cannon for a little and im blaming that . i beat him on all other boss fights and destroyed everyone with a staggering 12K, almost, dps on the dragon before the gunship. i was also doing 25K on large AoE fights, werd. Not trying to brag, just wanted to say that if you wait til you can get it high enough to really matter, it will make a difference you will be proud of, or at least it did for me.

  82. babaloo says:

    I got my ArP up to 1339 tonight, but it cost me more of my precious crit, which has been dropping since I gemmed ArP and changed out a few pieces of gear. My unbuffed crit now sits at just under 50%, its like 49.7 I think and my unbuffed AP is sitting right at 5900. My question is …Have i lowered my crit and AP too much? Should I put the 3 pieces of 264 gear back on and lower my ArP 75 points or so, or will it make up for the loss? Any suggestions? What is a good crit % for the ArP build?, not too many ppl doing it on my server so no good advice

  83. Chimpey says:

    Actually according to the dps spreadsheets on regardless of my gear gemming full agility benifits my dps more then armour pen gems by atleast 100, so how is it worked out that armour pen is better from 800 passive? i had over 1000 armour pen and yet agility still had more benificial dps

  84. Hagar of Lothar says:

    say what you will, fact is with armor pen stacked I out dps agility hunters everytime – guaranteed

  85. Vestager of Bonechewer says:

    at the last paragraph you said 800 passive armor pen.
    is that with gems or without gems?

  86. Anvilomally says:

    Was wondering if anyone had tested for a point between the soft caps for the trinkets and the hard cap of 1400 where it’s actually more beneficial to replace the trinket? My thinking being that at some point a high (75%+), constant armor reduction on a boss would average out to be better than ~50% armor reduction a majority of the battle with little spurts of up to 100% armor reduction.

  87. Kayos says:

    Hi i was wondering what to buy next from the frost vendor im hopeing for gloves to drop in voa so i can get 4 t10 if there is something ells let me know plz atm stuck on 535 arp :I

  88. bagan says:

    This forum has been a gr8 help to me. l always socket arp gems but try to keep socket bonus as much as posible. agi/crit or arp/stam gems i feel this gives me better dps, Good hunting guys n girls and always enjoy yourself:)

  89. Stokesly says:

    Here is the idea.
    If youre a BM or a Survival hunter this thread is useless for you.

    If youre a MM hunter ArP whill affect youre Auto Shot, Steady Shot, Chimera Shot and Kill Shot
    Gemming for ArP becomes usefull after u reached 600 ArP since of that moment every point of ArP will give more of a dps increase then 1 agi.
    Also you will notice that after you get about 800 arp you should stop using Arcane Shot since Steady Shot does more damage. Only use arcane shot when youre forced to move and have no other instant shots.

    Keep to this rules and you should be able to get some nice dps

  90. BoBby says:

    SO I am right in saying that any ArP stat that is applied to a boss decreases its armour which in turn helps us in increasing our dps, however does not help us in lowering our ArP cap?

    Thats what seems to be suggested.

  91. Sunny says:

    Hi all, been a avid reader here :) and I am so lost on the arm pen :0 Seems that so many numbers vary for when you should stack/drop Arcane Shot. I recently downloaded rawr, and after optiomizing today, it was telling me that my dps would be around 7202 with gemming arm pen. I am currently around 694 and cannot get the FoS trinket to save my soul! lol. If anyone has any advice for me, it would be greatly appreciated!!

  92. Rokami says:

    So I have a question.
    Say you have 100% (1400) ARP, would that reduce the boss’s armor to 0 and thus reduce his damage reduction to 0 as well? I’m a bit lost on this, but if I’m doing my math correctly would that not mean a 41.13% increase in dps or am I off on my math?

  93. Falloutnuke says:

    Just making sure here (lots of Comments that fight eachother on info) Agi beats ArP for lower gears for sure. BUT if you are able to reach 800 ArP passive, you should stack ArP gems because it becomes better than AGI. dps wise. <— MM hunter

  94. headacheinc says:

    Someone just tell me what the hell is better, i got kicked out of a raid for gemming arp…and now i’m reading that it’s better?

  95. mr me says:

    By all this to someone relatively new there is alot of interjecting facts. My armor pen with out gems or needle encruted scorpion is with the trinket on chance its 1151 would it be worth swapping mark of supremacy for the scorpion. In other words would I see more physical dps using mark of supremacy? Im new it all seems vague!

  96. hyndas says:

    How about Chimera Shot? Is good to use Chimera shot in rotation or not?
    I think it´s also physical dmg ;)
    thanks for answer ;)

  97. me says:

    how much armp pen point? its 5%