When preparing your fresh 70 for the endgame raid content, the most important stat to stack on your mage is Spell Hit. Theorycrafting aside, the general conclusion is that up until your character’s hit cap is reached (more on this later), Spell Hit is the most efficient stat, point-for-point, to increase your overall DPS.
Generally, ??? level bosses in raids 3 levels above your own, meaning that the chance of your spell to hit is a mere 83%. By investing points in your gear in Spell Hit, you can potentially raise that percentage to 99. And depending on your talent spec and race, the required amount of points to raise that percentage is relatively low. Thus, Spell Hit is the first stat that you will need to stack if you want to start raiding. But once your chance to hit bosses reaches 99%, any excess points will do nothing. Thus, as you gear up, it is always important to make sure you have the bare minimum, regardless of your Spell Damage, Spell haste, and Stamina.
Untalented, the spell Hit required to successively hit with your spell 99% of the time is 202.
If you’re specced into Fire, you will want points in Elemental Precision, which lowers your hit cap to 164.
If you’re a “cool” Mage like me (and are currently facepalming at the pun), a bug known as “Ghost Hit” effectively lowers your hit cap to 126 when specced into Elemental Precision.
If you’re spamming Arcane Spells in your rotation, and have specced into Arcane Focus, you only need 76 points of Spell Hit!
As you can see, the required Spell Hit stat is not too demanding if you know where to look for the right gear. Look no further than the following item list for your Spell Hit needs!
Due to the scarcity of items that contain Spell Hit, the most available means of stacking the stat is through using gems on socketed gear that you acquire as you continue to progress your character, as well as the lone Spell Hit enchant available for gloves. Take note that socket bonuses that do not awared additional Hit are not worth excluding the use of Spell Hit gems if you’re not yet at the cap.
Spell Hit is a stat primarily associated with Yellow sockets.
Great Dawnstone, Jewelcrafting
Veiled Noble Topaz, Jewelcrafting
Vivid Chrysoprase, Heroic Slave Pens
Lambent Chrysoprase, Heroic Underbog
Shining Fire Opal, Heroic Mechanar
Comments: Dawnstone is your best bet for stacking hit, but if you’re close to the cap, consider farming Heroic Mech for the additional damage provided by its gem, granted that you have the funds for a flying mount. Lambent Crysoprase is useful for specs that care a lot about passive mana regeneration, such as Arcane and Frost-Arcane.
Vermillion Robes of the Dominant – Warlord Kalithresh, The Steamvault
Warp Infused Drape – Warp Splinter, The Botanica
Comments: As a fresh 70, the Robes are your most likely bet, but the sockets from the Drape will yield better stats if you have a flying mount. Regardless of your spec, the Epic Robe that you can craft from tailoring has great stats and sockets. The Frost robe in particular grants extra Spell Hit as a socket bonus.
Extravagant Boots of Malice – Tavarok, Mana-Tombs
Comments: Not much choice here, which is all the more reason to be a Tailor if you roll Frost; the Frozen Shadoweave Boots are excellent for the same reasons as the robe.
Gloves of Oblivion – Warchief Kargath Bladefist, The Shattered Halls
Gloves of the Deadwatcher – Shirrak the Dead Watcher, Auchenai Crypts (Heroic)
Comments: Both are considerably difficult to get if you’re a fresh 70, but there are numerous excellent socketed alternatives.
Spellstrike Hood – Tailoring, Grand Warlock Nethekurse, The Shattered Halls
Demonfang Ritual Helm – The Black Stalker, The Underbog (Heroic)
Comments: Again, both are difficult to get. If you’re horde, consider doing a quest chain in Nagrand described below. I’ve been trying to farm the Spellstrike recpies for a while, and still haven’t gotten them to drop. The Hood is easier to farm than the pants because the recipe drops off of the first boss of the instance, rather than the last.
Spellstrike Pants – Tailoring, Murmur, Shadow Labyrinth
Trousers of Oblivion – Talon King Ikiss, Sethekk Halls
Comments: The warlock dungeon set has a pair of items that provide spell hit. Do not overlook them, despite the useless 2-piece set bonus. Great stats overall.
Mantle of Three Terrors – Chrono Lord Deja, The Black Morass
Comments: The Mantle is worth farming, because the rep rewards from the Keepers of Time include a really neat Spell Hit sword. Frosties rejoice at the use of their Tailoring Shoulders!
Belt of Blasting – Tailoring, Auction House
Sash of Serpentra – Warlord Kalithresh, The Steamvault
Comments: You will not get the recipe for the tailoring belt until you’re arleady in raid content. Thankfully, the belt is bind on equip, but the AH price may be a bit absurd on your realm, so consider running Steamvault for your belt instead. Arcane and Fire get a good belt from their Tailoring specialization.
Crimson Bracers of Gloom – Omor the Unscarred, Hellfre Ramparts (Heroic)
Comments: This boss is quite tricky in Heroic mode, due to the Felhounds that drain your mana if you’re closeby. Not exactly reccomended, but is worth mentioning. Thankfully, Arcane and Fire have their Tailoring specialization.
Cloak of the Betrayed – Priestess Delrissa, Magister’s Terrace
Sethekk Oracle Cloak – Talon King Ikiss, Sethekk Halls
Comments: Delrissa is one of my favorite non-raid boss encounters, so it’s worth running over and over again, even if you can’t seem to get past that final pull before Kael’thas. The Sethekk Cloak is relatively easy to get at 70.
Starlight Dagger – Mennu the Betrayer, The Slave Pens
Continuum Blade – Keepers of Time, Revered
Greatsword of Horrid Dreams – Murmur, Shadow Labyrinth
Comments: I simply LOVE the greatsword for its stats, but the Keepers of Time reward might come more easily if you find yourself doing plenty of CoT instances for the other pieces of gear.
Lamp of Peaceful Radiance – Harbinger Skyriss, The Arcatraz
Star-Heart Lamp – Temporus, The Black Morass
Comments: The Caverns Lamp is more accessible to mages that don’t have flying mounts yet, and has the extra crit rating. You can’t go wrong with either, but both instances can be challenging depending on the group.
Auchenai Staff – Aldor, Revered
Grand Scepter of the Nexus-Kings – Nexus-Prince Shaffar, Mana-Tombs
Sun-infused Focus Staff – Kael’thas Sunstrider, Magisters’ Terrace
Warpstaff of Arcanum – Warp Splinter, The Botanica
Comments: Kael’thas’ Staff is hands down the best two-handed weapon for any mage not doing raid content. It has Spell Hit AND sockets. What more do you want? Consider that an arcane mage will only be about 20 or 30 points short if he gems out his Staff with nothing but +8 Spell Hit. You can get a Spell Hit Staff as a PvP reward, which I will list in the next section.
Brooch of Heightened Potential – Blackheart the Inciter, Shadow Labyrinth
Eye of the Night – Jewelcrafting, World Drop
Hydra-fang Necklace – Ghaz’an, The Underbog
Comment: The Blackheart fight might be frustrating to some, but I personally love it, and is worth farming. There aren’t many other viable drops.
Seal of the Exorcist – Terokkar Zone Buff Rewards
Sparking Arcanite Ring – Epoch Hunter, Old HIllsbrad Foothills (Heroic)
Comments: Since a lot of the drops listed in this guide come from Auchindoun instances, you will likely accumulate a fair amount of Spirit Shards. Consider spending them on the PvP ring; they provide excellent Stamina, but lacks Intellect.
Arcanist’s Stone – Epoch Hunter, Old Hillsbrad Foothills (Heroic)
Scryer’s Bloodgem – Scryers, Revered
Comments: Mages should always pick scryers, hands down. They have the better spellthread recipe for tailors, and they have the BEST SPELL HIT ITEM IN THE FREAKING GAME. LOOK AT IT!
Bonus: Solo and Quest Your Way to the Hit Cap!
Ok, so you might not have time to group for dungeons. The best alternative is to simply farm out craftables as well as doing quests. By specializing into Tailoring, you can get 48 Spell hit from gems alone! The list below will put your Spell Hit well above the cap, so choose to your discretion!
SHOULDERS: Frozen Shadoweave Shoulders
Take up Shadoweave Tailoring and farm the mats. Use the +8 Spell Hit gem for the socket bonus.
CHEST: Frozen Shadoweave Robe
Take up Shadoweave Tailoring and farm the mats. Use +8 Spell Hit gem for the socket bonus..
PANTS: Heap Leggings
Complete It’s a Fel Reaver, But with Heart in Netherstorm. You might want to get a group for this, but it’s certainly solo-able with a frost mage. Simply pop cooldowns as needed, put your pet on adds, and furiously pew pew on the Reaver. If the mobs get out of hand, throw up Ice barrier, and kite them around with Frost Nova and Ice Armor while throwing instant cast spells on the reaver.
FEET: Frozen Shadoweave Boots
Take up Shadoweave Tailoring and farm the mats. Use the +8 Spell Hit gem for the socket bonus.
TRINKET: Scryer’s Blodogem
Gain the reputaton by doing all the Scryers quests, or by farming gold and buying reputation turn-in items such as Tomes and Signets.
WEAPON: Grand Marshall’s War Staff
Farm up Alterac Valley and get yourself 24,480 Honor Points and 40 AV Marks. At this point, you might already be at the cap, so get a decent weapon instead.
NECK: Eye of the Night
Buy from the AH.
FINGER: Seal of the Exorcist
PvP your butt off in Auchindoun. Get the shards and buy the ring.
Rough calculations put the total spell hit of all the items listed above as 158, including set bonuses. Speccing into Fire can be accomodated if you gem/enchant the gear accordingly. Regardless, the main point of this guide is to show that getting Spell Hit items is very straightforward and available if you know where to look. By getting into Karazhan, you will be able to upgrade your gear even further, and you will have to learn to boost your stats through gear upgrades, while at the same time managing the hit cap. It’s a tricky balance that can frustrate some, but hopefully this guide will at least provide the initial stepping stones towards reaching that point in your fledgling mage-raiding career.