Behold! For thou hast asked for mine thinks on such subjects as hit, crit and haste. Forsooth! Dost I now bequeath such knowledge upon thee, and so forth.
Spell Hit and the Hit Cap
A little chart:
Outright stolen from WoWWiki.
As a raiding mage, you will need, via gear, talents, raid buffs, whatever, a boost of 17% to your spell hit rating. Most of this will need to come from gear, though not all of it.
You can gain a 3% to spell hit rate from a raid debuff. Moonkin can provide it via Improved Faerie Fire, and Shadow Priests can provide it via Misery.
If you are an alliance mage, you can gain a further 1% hit if there is a Draenei of any class in your group.
And, depending on spec, you can gain a further 3% from talents. Arcane mages can get hit from Arcane Focus, while frost, fire, and frostfire mages can gain it from Elemental Precision.
You need 26.232 hit rating to gain one percent of spell hit.
If you are receiving…
- 7% raid buffed, you need 10% spell hit chance, or 263 hit rating.
- 6% raid buffed, you need 11% spell hit chance, or 289 hit rating.
- 4% raid buffed, you need 13% spell hit chance, or 342 hit rating.
- 3% raid buffed, you need 14% spell hit chance, or 368 hit rating.
- 1% raid buffed, you need 16% spell hit chance, or 420 hit rating.
- 0% raid buffed, you need 17% spell hit chance, or 446 hit rating.
Remember, for purposes of hit, Blizzard’s calculators round down. (15.99% hit, for instance, is just considered 15%.)
Your pets (that is, the Water Elemental and Mirror Image) gain spell hit from your gear, and any raid buffs like you do. Any hit you get from talents, they do too. Basically, if you are hit capped, so is your pet.
Rate spell hit very highly in your gearing choices. If you can’t hit the mob, then all that spellpower and crit was a total waste.
However, that said, do not wear inferior gear for just the spell hit. For instance, if an awesome belt drops in Naxx-25, and you’re still sporting the wyrmrest belt, don’t pass on the awesome belt just because it doesn’t have hit.
Spell Resists and Stuff
Spells, technically, don’t “miss”. They get resisted. Full resists (where the other guy takes no damage or suffers no ill effects) appear as a “miss” in the combat log, and the spell animation shows said spell happily flying off into the distance.
For purposes of things that funcion off of spell resists (i.e. Magic Absorption) anytime a spell misses, it is treated as a full resist.
For instance, say you have the talent Magic Absorption. A warlock casts shadow bolt at you, and it misses. That miss is still treated as a full resist, so the talent will still restore 2% of your mana.
Do not socket hit gems en masse. Only socket some hit when you are close to the hit cap, but not quite there. If you’re 20 hit rating short, that would be a good time to toss in a hit gem. If you’re 120 hit rating short, throwing in hit gems is a bad idea.
Why, you ask?
Spellpower is King
Spellpower is the strongest stat you have. Incredibly strong. How strong?
Lemme put it this way. Your most important stat to stack is spellpower. Your second most important stat to stack is also spellpower. And once you think you have enough spellpower, it’s in your best interest to get some more spellpower.
Crit and haste are secondary stats. Don’t bother stacking them (via gems) at first…
There is a threshold, you see. A certain point where crit and haste break even with spellpower, and then become better than spellpower (point for point).
This threshold varies substantially. It depends heavily on the buffs and debuffs the mage has available, and the quality of the mages gear.
Basically, the stronger the raid makeup and the better the mages gear, the lower this threshold is.
For instance, with all relevant raid buffs/debuffs (haste auras, bonus to spell damage from moonkins/locks/DKs, etc), 350 crit rating, 450 haste rating, this threshold is at the 1900 spellpower point for a cookie cutter FFB build.
Take the same build, drop the values of crit and haste by a hundred each (250 crit, 350 haste), and drop the warlock from the raid (that is, the 13% modifier to damage taken), now the threshold is right around the 2150 area.
I highly recommend you experiment with the Theory Craft-o-Matic to find out approximately where this threshold is for you, and your chosen spec.
Once you’ve calculated your stats and specs, scroll down to the bottom of the page. You’ll see a section that shows how crit, haste, and hit stack up to spellpower. The bigger the number, the bigger the DPS boost it gives you.
For instance, if it says 1 spellpower = .5 crit = 1.3 haste, haste is 30% better than spellpower point for point. Crit is kinda awful for you, and you should go hunt down some pieces with lots of haste.
Make sense? Have fun!
Under no circumstances should you stack Spirit.
If your mana pool is having troubles, chances are likely that there is an issue with Replenishment in your raid, or your mana pool is too small for those effects to work properly.
Replenishment is a nifty little mana restoration provided by Retribution Paladins, Survival Hunters, Destruction Warlocks, Frost Mages, and Shadow Priests.
Whenever the ability procs, the buff is applied to ten people, typically with low mana (percent based). The effect prefers those with low mana pools, though it can proc on others.
Perhaps most importantly is that you (yes, you) are balanced around having this buff available in a raid scenario. If you don’t have it… well, bring some mana potions.
Note that because it functions off of maximum mana, it scales very well with intellect. Hence, always weight intellect higher than spirit when making gearing choices. (Not to mention Evocate…)
For all you frosties out there who do have weird, passionate relationships with their summoned elementals, this section is for you.
Your little water elemental scales with the stats you gain. Roughly speaking, a third of what you have is passed to the elemental as well.
More precisely, your pet gains 33% of your spell damage, 30% of your stamina and intellect, and 35% of your armor.
However, the amount of health and mana gained from stamina and intellect is significantly less than what you gain. The elemental only gains 7.5 HP per point of stamina, and 5 mana per point of intellect.
Just in case you wanted all the conversion rates on stats up to the bazillionth decimal point.
1% hit chance = 26.23199272 hit rating
1% critical strike chance = 45.90598679 critical strike rating
1% haste = 32.78998947 haste rating
The way intellect converts into critical strike chance is the same for all classes over level 70. At level 80, it will take 166.6666709 to gain 1% critical strike chance. Best to just call it 167 intellect, as there isn’t a way to gain partial intellect values.
Stack as much spellpower as you can. Plenty of Runed Scarlet Rubies will do you well. Aim so that every gem you have, other than the meta gem, sports at least some spellpower. If you need colors besides red to go for socket bonuses, always use hybrid gems that include spellpower.
Again, this is only until you reach the threshold discussed above. Gem accordingly.
Only gem for hit when you are close to the hit cap.
There is only one metagem you should ever use, and that is the Chaotic Skyflare Diamond. No other metagem comes even close to the strength of this one.
Thus, using a helm that does not have a metagem slot is a very bad idea. You will need to have two blue gems socketed to get the bonus from this metagem. The spellpower/spirit hybrids are the best choice.
Got anything else that should be included on a list like this? Any corrections? Leave a comment, or send me an e-mail. Bear in mind specific mechanics pertaining to specific trees (like the total damage coefficient on FFB) are fodder for separate, tree specific raiding posts.