With dual spec functionality on the very near horizon, most of us who play Resto Shamans are going to be collecting some DPS gear. In the interest of keeping gear as homogeneous as possible (and, partly due to playstyle preference), I’m intending to make my specs Restoration and Elemental.
An unfortunate reality of the Elemental spec is the absolute lack of any mail gear with spellpower *and* hit rating on it. In fact, only 8 such pieces exist in the game with an iLevel of 200 or more – and 3 of them are upgraded Tier versions of 3 of the others. With the Elemental Hit Cap at a staggering 368 (assuming non-Draenei, and 3% hit from talents), it can be fairly daunting to try to reach this number and make yourself a viable raider.
So, in the interest of disseminating information, here are some gear targets that you can go after in order to reach the Hit Cap. I’ll try to stay to mail if possible, but downgrading to leather (or even cloth) may well be a necessity in order to make it happen.
- Titan Forged Mail Helm of Dominance – 44 +hit (red socket) – one of the 8 illustrious mail pieces. Has a Meta socket as well, so this makes it fairly attractive. The lack of haste / crit is a deficiency, though.
- Hat of Wintry Doom – 44 +hit (red socket) – Easily crafted, also has a Meta socket. Disappointing stats otherwise, though.
- The Argent Skullcap – 61 +hit – Cloth again, and a quest reward. Overall, not too bad.
Neck(assuming Malygos quest rewards n/a):
- Necklace of Taldaram – 43 +hit – Easy to obtain from Heroic Old Kingdom.
- Chain of Latent Energies– 34 +hit – BOE trash drop from Naxx, usually around on the AH for about 1700-2500. Fairly solid piece that will likely remain in your set after other others are replaced.
- Circle of Arcane Streams – 31 +hit – The only difficulty in obtaining this is that it drops from OS-10, and that’s only around once a week. Superior in some ways to the Chain of Latent Energies as it has +crit instead of +haste.
- T7 / T7.5 Shoulder – 32/37 +hit (red socket) – As a mail piece with potential set bonuses and hit rating, these should be a priority item.
- Mantle of the Corrupted – 37 +hit – Good luck prying this away from a Warlock, Mage or Shadow Priest; you’re better off staying with the Tier set.
- Dark Soldier Cape / Cape of Seething Steam– 29 +hit – Absolutely identical items. Surprisingly, there is not one epic cloak – outside of PvP rewards – with +hit.
- Heigan’s Putrid Vestments– 49 +hit (yellow / blue sockets) – Should be relatively easy to get from Naxx-25 as they get passed on a lot.
- Water-Drenched Robe – 62 +hit (red / blue sockets / +6 hit bonus) – An acceptable stopgap for the slot, though the lack of auxiliary stats outside of hit / spellpower hurts.
- Bindings of the Expansive Mind – 28 +hit – Another item that the clothies won’t be surrendering anytime soon as they’re best in slot for most cloth DPS.
- Bands of Mutual Respect – 0 +hit (blue socket) – Best in slot mail caster bracer, at least you can socket some spell hit out of them.
- T7 / T7.5 Gloves – 38/44 +hit (yellow socket / +4 hit bonus) – Another high priority item as they are again well represented in all of the desirable qualities.
- Gloves of Grandeur – 38 +hit – Might be more readily available than a lot of cloth pieces as most clothies are using Tier gloves.
- Corpse Scarab Handguards – 0 +hit (yellow socket) – More of a stopgap piece due to the socket and enchantability in case you don’t have the tier gear.
- Plush Sash of Guzbah – 33 +hit (yellow socket / +4 hit bonus) – More or less an essential piece in reaching the cap for now as you won’t lose too much else in auxiliary stats, and with an Eternal Belt Buckle, you can reach a staggering 69 +hit with it, and it’s easy to obtain.
- Belt of Blasting – 23 +hit (yellow / blue sockets) – Yeah, it’s level 70… but there are really that few options. In fact, Monsoon Belt (2 less on +hit) isn’t so bad either.
- T7 / T7.5 Legs – 37/42 +hit (yellow / blue socket / +6 hit bonus) – Once again, a priority target, unless you want to use cloth.
- Leggings of Atrophy – 50 +hit – Pretty Shaman-friendly stats, other than being cloth and drop off Anub’Rekhan-25 so attainability is not very difficult.
- Titan Forged Sabatons of Dominance – 36 +hit (yellow socket) – Surprisingly, a pretty attractive option given the lack of available equipment.
- Sabatons of Firmament – 0 +hit (yellow socket) – Very nice, but as they drop from Sartharion +2 drakes, you’re probably capped if you get them anyhow.
- Eruption-Scarred Boots – 0 +hit (blue socket) – At least there’s a socket, and the rest of the stats are great. If you can make up the numbers from other slots, these are the most likely (and possibly best, within realistic obtainability parameters) option.
- Windshear Boots – 18 +hit – Dumb as it may seem, the fact that this Gruul drop is still a competitive +hit option for this slot is indicative of the lack of available hit gear.
- Signet of the Malevolent – 49 +hit – Believe it or not, this is the only epic level 80 ring in the game with +hit. As such, it should be a priority target, though you’ll face a lot of competition from other casters.
- Ring of Northern Tears – 31 +hit (blue socket / +4 hit bonus) – Realistically, not a bad piece but it has no attribute stats to it.
- Dying Curse – 71 +hit – Another piece that every caster in Naxx-25 is going to roll, but it goes a long ways towards making up the necessary number without sacrificing effectiveness.
- Mark of the War Prisoner – 71 +hit – Fairly easy to obtain, and a decent on-use number to it. A near-necessary entry-level piece.
- Rune of Infinite Power – 55 +hit – Easy to get, but you should try to rotate this out in favor of a better item as soon as possible – though it will help you to get the cap early in your effort.
- Battlemaster’s Accuracy – 95 +hit – Highest bonus of any trinket, though adds almost nothing else via the on-use ability outside of PvP.
- Haunting Call – 45 +hit – Trash drop in Naxx-25. Despite the presence of Spirit on the item, it’s a good piece to use.
- Flameheart Spell Scalpel– 34 +hit – As a Kirin Tor rep item, this one should be available to almost anyone. Overall, not a bad piece in the slightest.
- Not a single caster shield has +hit on it – unless you want to do something like use the Enamelled Disc of Mojo to socket +16 hit, which is a weak option.
- Ward of the Violet Citadel – 38 +hit – Not a bad item statistically, but for the fact that you’ll cut your armor in half.
- Surplus Limb – 32 +hit – Similar to above, but not as optimal for an Elemental build, and more difficult to obtain.
Some ground can be made up here. Icewalker will add +12 hit and +12 critical strike to boots and is a must-have. Similarly, unless you’ve attained the rating elsewhere and can afford to use the +spellpower enchant and remain capped, Precision on your gloves is also worth +20 hit. While your weapon may be enchanted with accuracy, it is not economical to do so as the +50 / 63 spellpower enchants offer more return.
Gemming for Hit:
- Yellow Socket – Rigid Autumn’s Glow (+16 hit)
- Red Socket – Veiled Monarch Topaz (+9 Spell Damage / +8 Hit)
- Blue Socket – Lambent Forest Emerald (+8 Hit / +3 MP5) or Vivid Forest Emerald (+8 hit / +12 Stamina)
Always determine if the offsocket bonus is worthwhile. Stamina or MP5 bonuses may not be worth using a +8 hit gem over the +16 one, while it is frequently better to adhere to the socket bonus when stats like spell power or critical strike rating are involved.
So, there’s a basic list. It is by no means complete – there are certainly other items – but it’s a good starting point for where to look when trying to reach the magic 368.