Friday, March 27, 2009

Smite 101: Spell Hit Cap

Spell hit ratings increase your chance to hit with your spells and reduces the chance your spells will be missed by a mob. At level 80, you have a 100% chance to hit mobs that are four levels lower than you (level 76) and a 83% chance to hit mobs that are three levels higher than you (level 83 = raid boss).

As of Patch 3.0, it is possible to stack spell hit ratings to a certain point to obtain 100% chance to hit on a level 83 raid boss. This point is known as the "hit cap". To reach the hit cap, you are required to have 17% hit. Every 26.23 spell hit ratings will grand you 1% hit. In other word, you will need a total of 446 spell hit ratings to reach the hit cap (17% hit). That's a lot of spell hit ratings to stack, but -

Almost all offensive caster classes have + 3 % hit talents in their talent trees. Shadow priests gain 6% hit with Misery and Shadow Focus so they only need 289 spell hit rating to reach hit cap. Moonkins gain 7% hit with Balance of Power and Improved Faerie Fire so they only need 263 spell hit rating to reach hit cap. Shamans, mages, and warlocks all have basic +3% hit talents in their respective talent trees (+6% for certain schools of spells) so they only need at most 368 spell hit ratings to reach hit cap.

Overall, reaching the hit cap is not difficult with talent specializations, except for Smite priests.

The priest talent trees do not have talents that increase your chance to hit with holy spells, so by default, you are required to have 446 spell hit ratings to reach hit cap for wotlk raids.


Unfortunately, this is the sad dilemma that every wotlk smite priest have to deal with today. The rule of thumb for every offensive caster is to honor the hit cap beyond all other stats. But the game's itemization at this point is not designed to provide a caster with this much spell hit ratings while still support all other stats the caster needs. Stacking spell hit rating to 446 will almost certainly force you to neglecting other important attributes needed for a smite priest to be successful. What you can do however is to find the right balance based on your raid make up. So just how much spell hit rating do you really need to play a smite priest?

25 Man Raids - Alliance: 341 , Horde: 368

A shadow priest's Misery debuff (+3% hit) or a moonkin's Improved Faerie Fire debuff (+3% hit) can increase your chance to hit on the debuffed target by 3%. If you have a draenei in your group, you gain an additional 1% to hit. Since Misery and IFF do not stack, in a perfect raid setting, the most hit you will gain from raid buff is 4%. This means you still need 13% hit or 341 spell hit rating to reach hit cap. 14% or 368 spell hit rating if you are horde due to lack of Heroic Presence.

The chance of not having a draenei in your raid is non-existent on the alliance side. So be sure to kindly ask your raid leader to place you in a draenei's group so you can get Heroic Presences. If you do not a shadow priest or moonkin in a 25 men raid group, you are in the wrong raid. :/

Note: Draenei's Heroic Presence is a group only buff and has a limited 30 yard range. So during raids, you do need to pay attention to the distance between you and your draenei buddy. Unless of course you are draenei yourself. Happy stalking. (Courtesy of Luthvian)

10 Man Raid - 401 spell hit rating

It is recommended that you carry two sets of gear for 10 man raids. One set with a total of 401 spell hit ratings and another with 368 spell hit ratings. If you have a shadow priest or moonkin in your raid, switch to use the 368 set. If you don't have neither of them in your raid, switch to your 401 set and just use Elixir of Accuracy (45) every hour for the duration of your raid.

5 Man Heroics - 158 spell hit rating

Bosses in 5 man heroics are level capped at 82, so you only need 6% hit rating to reach the 5 man hit cap. 6 x 26.23 = 158 spell hit rating.

List of Pre-Raid Spell Hit Gear


Chilly Slobberknocker - Quest: The Champion of Anguish, Zul'Drak
Stave of Youthful Sorrow - Quest: Tirion's Gambit, Icecrown
Zebra's Misplaced Staff - BOE Drop
Frostbite Warstaff - Quest: Conversing With the Depths, Dragonblight


Flameheart Spell Scalpel - Kirin Tor - Revered, Alvareaux, Dalaran
Ritualist's Bloodletter - Quest: Time to Hide, Icecrown


Ancient Measuring Rod - Loken, Halls of Lightning (Normal)
Wand of the San'layn - Prince Keleseth, Utgarde Keep (Heroic)
Frail Bone Wand - Quest: The Rider of the Unholy, Icecrown
Wand of Blinding Light - Quest: The Cleansing of Jintha'kalar, Dragonblight

Off Hand

Ward of the Violet Citadel - 25 Emblem of Heroism
Telestra's Journal - Grand Magus Telestra, The Nexus (Heroic)


Ebonweave Robe - BOE Tailoring
Heroes' Raiments of Faith - 80 Emblem of Heroism
Water-Drenched Robe - Ichoron, The Violet Hold (Heroic)
Robes of Lightning - Quest: Whatever It Takes!, Halls of Lightning
Turtle-Minders Robe - The Kalu'ak - Honored, Sairuk (Dragonblight) or Tanaika (Howling Fjord)
Wastewind Garments - Quest: The Noble's Crypt (A)/Torture the Torturer (H), Dragonblight


Titan-forged Slippers of Dominance - 15 Wintergrasp Mark of Honour
Leiah's Footpads - Quest: The Air Stands Still, Icecrown


Ebonweave Gloves - BOE tailoring
Lava Burn Gloves - Lavanthor, The Violet Hold (Normal)


Titan-forged Hood of Dominance
- 40 Wintergrasp Mark of Honor
Hate of Wintry Doom - BOE tailoring
The Argent Skullcap - Quest: The Crusader's Pinnacle, Icecrown
Chitin-Reinforced Hood - Quest: The Sapphire Queen, Sholazar Basin
Mildred's Cowl - Quest: Discipline, The Storm Peaks


none :(

Mantle of the Underhalls - Quest: Revenge for the Vargul, Icecrown
Spaulders of the Runeseeker - Quest: The Activation Rune, Un'Goro Crater
Bell-Ringer's Shoulderpads
- Quest: Drak'aguul's Mallet, Grizzly Hills


Girdle of Bane - King Ymiron, Utgarde Pinnacle (Heroic)
Plush Sash of Guzbah - 40 Emblem of Heroism, Dalaran
Belt of Unified Souls - Meathook, The Culling of Stratholme (Heroic)
Flowing Sash of Order - Loken, Halls of Lightning (Heroic)
Sash of the Wizened Wyrm - The Wyrmrest Accord - Honored, Cielstrasza, Dragonblight
Lithe Stalker's Cord - Quest: The Vile Hold, Icecrown
Braided Bat Sinew - Quest: Clipping Their Wings, Zul'Drak


Fleshwerk Shackles - Quest: Killing Two Scourge With One Skeleton, Icecrown
Southsayer's Wristwrap - Quest: Hell Hath a Fury, Zul'Drak
Highseas Wristwrap - Quest: A Righteous Sermon (A)/Fire Upon the Waters (H), Dragonblight


Hateful Gladiator's Cloak of Ascendancy - PVP reward: 38000 honor
Cape of Seething Steam - Volkhan, Halls of Lightning (Normal)
Dark Soldier Cape - Knights of the Ebon Blade - Honored, Duchess Mynx, Icecrown
Shroud of Akali - Gal'darah, Gundrak (Normal)


Encircling Burnished Gold Chains - 25 Emblem of Heroism, Dalaran
Hateful Gladiator's Pendant of Ascendancy - PVP reward: 38000 honor
Necklace of Taldaram - Prince Taldaram, Ahn'kahet: The Old Kingdom (Heroic)
Emeline's Locket - Quest: The Admiral Revealed, Icecrown
Amulet of the Malefic Necromancer - Quest: Poke and Prod, Icecrown


Amberglow Signet - Quest: The Brothers Bronzebeard (A)/Forging the Keystone (H), The Storm Peaks
Bat-Wool Signet - Quest: Basic Chemistry, Icecrown
Ring of Northern Tears - BOE Jewelcrafting
The Prospector's Prize - Krystallus, Halls of Stone (Heroic)
Voodoo Signet - Quest: For Posterity, Gundrak
Brunnhildar Runed Ring - Quest: Making a Harness, The Storm Peaks
Rancid Signet - Quest: Doing Your Duty, Grizzly Hills
Ring of Devoted Promises - Quest: It Could Be Anywhere!, Sholazar Basin
Oath Signet - Quest: Leaving Nothing to Chance (A) / All Hail Roanauk! (H), Dragonblight


Figurine - Twilight Serpent - BOP Requires Jewelcrafting (400)
Mark of the War Prisoner - Cyanigosa, The Violet Hold (Heroic)
Rune of Infinite Power - Quest: Mystery of the Infinite, Redux, Dragonblight

Consumables: Food/Pots

Snapper Extreme - Cooking
Worg Tartare - Cooking
Spicy Hot Talbuk - Cooking
Elixir of Accuracy - Alchemy, Battle Elixir

Armor/Weapon Enhancement

Scroll of Enchant Boots - Icewalker, Boot
Scroll of enchant Boots - Surefooted, Boot
Scroll of Enchant Gloves - Precision, Gloves
Scroll of Enchant Gloves - Precision Strikes, Gloves
Scroll of Enchant Weapon - Accuracy, Weapon
Arcanum of Power - The Sha'tar - Revered, Almaador, Shattrath City

Note: As of Patch 3.01, hit rating on all consumables and item enhancement applies to Spell Hit Rating, Hit Rating (Melee), and Ranged Hit Rating.

- Gems
- Raiding Spell Hit Gear

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Holy Fire Spec is a World of Warcraft blog dedicated to the fine art of Holy Priest Dps. While some folks in the priest community consider this spec as a joke, I believe it is important to keep an open mind in the subject and have fun.

Content Highlights

Holy DPS Talent Builds
Holy DPS Spell Hit Cap
Smite Leveling Build [1-80]
Smite Leveling Build Alternative [70-80]
Obvious Things to Know When Playing A Priest

Number Crunching & Theorycrafting
Smite Damage Numbers Calculation
Holy Fire Damage Numbers Calculation
Surge of Light vs. Non Surge of Light

My Chicken Scratch: Tier II Transcendence
Designing My Own Priest Talent/Glyphs for the Next Expansion

About Me

My name is Xel (pronounced "Zel"), I'm a casual wow addict. I was introduced to World of Warcraft in December of 2007 and have been hopelessly addicted to it ever since. However, due to school and various other factors, I find myself spending more time theorycrafting than actually playing the game itself. My main is a human priest on the US PVP server called Stormreaver, alliance side. I enjoy priesting as a whole because of the flexibility of my class. I like playing with all the priest specs - discipline, holy, shadow, and of course smite. When not on my priest, I enjoy playing my tri-spec bear-chicken-tree druid.


In Real Life

I'm just your average twenty something years old college student. I'm currently doing my masters degree in engineering, while trying to balance life, school, and wow. I'm not doing a very good job at it but I am trying :)

PS. I'm a grammar disaster, even though I do proofread my writing, I'm still terrible. I apologize for the mistakes. Please feel free to point out any errors. As this is the best way for me to learn.
Thanks in advance.


If you have any questions, suggestions, or is interested in link exchange please do not hesitate to contact me at
You can also reach my by simply commenting on one of my posts.