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Do either of these statistics provide any tangible benefit for casters (possibly excluding melee-spec wizards)? Or are they just wasted points?

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Other answerers beat me to it. Just one thing to add - you can mouseover the stats in your inventory screen to see what benefits they give you. –  dpatchery May 17 '12 at 13:35
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Not of some notable value for a caster but you get:

  • +x% dodge for every point of dexterity

  • +x armor for every point of strength

For a caster they are pretty much wasted points even for melee casters since strength/dexterity give damage only to barbarian/demon,monk.

Here is more about stats and you can see what stat provides what bonus depending on different class.

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There is an exception to this, and that is witch doctor pets. Pets become less viable at higher levels unless you increase their defense. You can do that by stacking strength for additional armor (link). With enough STR you can use the gargantuan as a tank at higher difficulty levels. –  aearon May 28 '12 at 8:15
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If it's a choice between Str/Dex and your "core" attribute, obviously go with the core attribute.

However, Dexterity will give you a bonus to your Dodge, and Strength to your Armour.

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Strength and Dexterity, like Vitality and Intelligence, are class generic attributes and they respectively increase your armor and your dodge chances. So for sure they give a little help if you remain stuck in a fight, but probably I would avoid focusing on those with Wizards and Witch Doctors.

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