|Spell hit quick facts|
- Not to be confused with Hit.
Spell hit is an attribute that increases a caster's chance to hit with spells. Spell hit is primarily obtained from gear, gems or enchants that have hit rating or expertise rating. The more hit rating a caster has, the lower the chance the caster's spells will miss. Spell hit is capped at 100%: with enough spell hit, it is possible to reach a state where it is impossible for spells to miss. Healing spells always hit, thus healers do not need spell hit. A spell that fails to hit is shown as a "miss", and can be corrected by acquiring more hit rating.
Both physical hit and spell hit derive from the same basic hit rating stat within the combat rating system, although the similarity largely ends there—they are effectively distinct attributes derived from the same rating. Prior to Patch 3.0, hit rating only increased a player's chance to hit with melee and ranged attacks; a separate stat, called spell hit rating, increased the chance to hit with spells. 3.0 unified both ratings together, and now hit rating increases chance to hit with both spells and melee/ranged attacks. However, you still need different amounts of hit rating to cap spell hit versus melee hit.
Unlike melee hit, spell hit can also be obtained from expertise rating, and in some cases explained below, from spirit. Any expertise from racial weapon specializations will also increase spell hit, as long as the specialized weapon is Two-handed or held in the Main hand or, in other words, not held in the Off-hand.
Note that as far as spell hit is concerned, hit rating, expertise rating and, when applicable, Spirit, are all normalized and all contribute equally to spell hit. A total of 340 of those three attributes, in any combination will give 1% spell hit at level 90.
The spell hit mechanic was originally confirmed by Blizzard CM Eyonix back in 2005. Base chance to hit is based on level difference between caster and target, starting at 94% for equal levels, and going up or down from there, capping at a maximum of 100%. Furthermore, the chance to hit is different for mobs (PvE) and player (PvP) targets.
For example, a level 90 caster attacking a level 93 mob will have an 85% chance to hit with spells in PvE. Players many levels below their target will always have at least a 1% chance of landing a spell.
Increasing spell hit
Spell hit chance can be increased by gear up to 100%. At level 90, the highest level mob currently present is level 93 (e.g. all Mists raid and challenge mode bosses), so assuming no other sources of spell hit, a level 90 caster has an effective hit rating cap of 5100.
In patch 4.0.1, all talents and buffs increasing spell hit chance for casters were removed. The draenei racial trait was also changed from increasing the party's hit chance to only increasing the player's hit chance. Balance druids, mistweaver monks, elemental shaman, and shadow priests gain up to 100% of their spirit as spell hit rating with the passive abilities , , , and respectively.
With a high enough total of hit rating, expertise rating and spirit (where applicable as mentioned above), a player's chance to hit with spells can reach 100%. Casters should keep this cap in mind when considering their gear. For PvE raiding, bosses are considered to be 3 levels higher than the caster, meaning that +15% is the most that will be effective. For high level arena PvP sufficient +hit chance is very important as missed crowd control like , and can easily lose matches. The base miss chance versus any player target of the same level is 4%.
Note that some classes can spec to gain extra chance to have spells miss them, which CANNOT be mitigated by additional chance to hit. Also, some abilities (e.g. - ) give the player using the ability extra chance to have spells miss as well. Extra spell hit does in fact mitigate these spells' extra chance to miss, but is typically unnecessary.
Racial weapon specializations
Certain race's racial traits provide passive expertise bonuses. All racials provide a 1% bonus to expertise for certain types of weapons. In World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria, expertise also increases spell hit. The condition for expertise from racial weapon specializations to increase spell hit is that the specialized weapon is not held in the Off-hand, i.e. it is either a Two-handed weapon or held in the Main hand.
This limitation is not usually an issue for pure casting specializations for two reasons. First, no casting or healing specialization can dual-wield. Secondly, most spell-power weapons are Main-hand only.
Where this limitation does become a factor is in melee specializations that include spells in their rotation, spwcifically Enhancement Shaman, Brewmaster and Windwalker Monks, and Frost Death knights. An orc Enhancement Shaman for example would only get the spell hit contribution from his if the axe was in his Main-Hand. Dual-wielding axes would not double-dip and add extra spell hit since the axe in his Off-Hand would not contribute to his spell-hit.
|Dwarf||One and Two-Handed Maces|
|Gnome||Daggers and One-Handed Swords|
|Human||One and Two-Handed Swords|
|One and Two-Handed Maces|
and One and Two-Handed Axes
The 1% bonus from either Heroic Presence or any racial weapon specializations is a flat 1%, and is equivalent to 340 rating ( hit or expertise ) at level 90.
The effect of Hit chance on Critical Hit chance
Unlike the melee combat system, spell crit makes absolutely no difference to hit chance. All spells, regardless of whether they are treated as binary or not, roll hit and crit separately. Conceptually, the game rolls for your hit chance first, and if the spell hits you have a separate roll for whether it crits.
Overall chance to crit over all spells cast is thus affected by hit rate. To calculate overall crit rate, multiply the two chances together:
crit rate over all spell casts = crit% × hit%
For example, a caster with no spell hit rating gear or talents, against a mob 3 levels higher (85% hit chance), and 30% crit rating from gear and talents:
crit rate over all spell casts = 30% × 85% = 25.5%
Spell hit rating chart
The following chart shows the total spell hit rating required to 2 decimal places for the range of spell hit % commonly desired. It is obviously not possible to achieve a fractional hit rating, and the decision to round up or down to an integer is left to the individual. See the spell hit cap section below for the rating required to reach 100% hits with spell casting.
Spell hit cap
A common question among casters is how much hit rating is needed to hit the 100% chance to hit cap. As stated earlier, this depends on the level of the targets one expects to encounter, and any racials that add chance to hit with spells. The following table summarizes how much hit rating is needed for a certain level, after all racials are taken into consideration. To use the table, first add up how much hit you already have, then look up that row to find the hit rating cap for targets level 90 up to 93. End-game raiding casters generally use the level 93 column, as the effective level of bosses is 93 (level 90 content).
Note: For casters doing heroics exclusively and not planning on raiding, you may use the 92 column instead, as that is the highest level of mobs found in heroics (i.e., bosses).
|Hit rating needed at 90 (per target lvl.)||Notes|
|1%||5% (1700)||8% (2720)||11% (3740)||14% (4760)|
|0%||6% (2040)||9% (3060)||12% (4080)||15% (5100)||
The numbers in brackets indicates the amount of rating required to reach the necessary percentage. This rating can come from hit rating, expertise rating, and in some cases (Balance Druids, Mistweaver Monks, Elemental Shaman and Shadow Priests), Spirit.
This table is mostly relevant for casters. For tanks or melee Dps who use spells along with their melee attacks (Feral and Guardian Druids, Brewmaster and Windwalker Monks, Enhancement Shaman, Potection and Retribution Paladins and Death knights), it is better to focus on reaching the soft melee hit cap and the soft expertise cap. Doing so will ensure that the spell hit cap is also reached under most circumstances. Rogue poisons are no longer dependent on spell hit at all.
- Patch 5.0.4 (2012-08-28): The Spell Hit formula has been modified. Expertise now gives an equal amount Spell Hit rating to caster classes. Additionally, the hit cap has been reduced to 15%, down from 17%.
- Patch 4.0.1 (2010-10-12): Spell Hit is now granted by Spirit for hybrid casters.
- Patch 3.0.2 (2008-10-14): Spell Hit chance now caps at 100%, instead of 99%. Spell Hit Rating has been merged into Hit Rating, which now increases Spell Hit chance.
- Patch 2.0.1 (2006-12-05): Combat Ratings added. Items no longer increase Spell Hit by a fixed percentage.