Crit Cap

WoW is filled with “caps.”  Soft caps, hard caps.  Caps that are nearly mandatory to reach, caps that are suggested to reach.

For most of our rogue lives we have watched our hit rating for caps.  We know about the hit cap for special attacks and poison hit cap, and the out-of-reach white hit cap.  (if you don’t, see my detailed post from last year).  In recent months rogues became very concerned with the armor penetration cap.

For my five years of playing WoW, though, I never really worried about crit.  More crit = better.  That’s changing.  At T10 gear levels, there is a point where more crit no longer helps your autoattack white damage.  Thus, the existence of a crit cap.

Chase Christian at wow.com did a good job of explaining this briefly.  I’m going to go a little more teacher-like, because that’s what I do.  To skip the discussion, scroll down to the Wrap Up at the end.

To start, we need to be familiar with the hit table.  When you attack, its as if you roll a die from 1-100.  You have a chance to crit, hit, be dodged, get a glancing blow, or miss.  I’m omitting parry as an option here on the assumption that you’ll be attacking from behind, as you are certainly a well-informed rogue.  🙂

If you had zero hit rating and zero expertise and were attacking a level 83 raid boss, with a 30% crit chance, your hit table would look like this:

27% miss
6.5% dodge
24% glancing blow
4.8 % crit suppression*
30% crit
the rest (7.7%) is normal hit

* crit suppression is a mechanic found to exist on raid bosses by theorycrafters after extensive combat log analysis

Of course, no one goes into a raid with zero hit or zero expertise.  However, we’ll go with that table above as a starting point.  Lets say that this rogue gets some new gems with +crit and increases his crit %.  All of the numbers in the attack table have to add up to 100%, so if crit % increases then something else has to decrease.  What decreases is the chance to get a normal hit.

So if our fictional no-hit, no-expertise rogue gets another 5% crit, then his new attack table would be…

27% miss
6.5% dodge
24% glancing blow
4.8 % crit suppression
35% crit
the rest (2.7%) is normal hit

Now he has only a 2.7% chance to get a normal hit! Hopefully, you can see where this is going.  If he keeps adding +crit, then eventually his chance of getting a normal hit will go to zero.  When that happens his attack table will be

27% miss
6.5% dodge
24% glancing blow
4.8 % crit suppression
37.5% crit

What next?  If you keep adding +crit after that it no longer increases your chance to crit at all!  Our fictional rogue in this case has a crit cap of 37.5%.

But that’s not your crit cap.  Yours is different.

Essentially, your crit cap is whatever % you have left after subtracting your hit, dodge, glancing, and crit suppression from 100%.  You can’t change the glancing blow % or crit suppression, so the way to make more room for crits is by reducing the chance for misses and dodges.  That means adding +hit and +expertise.

Lets say that our fictional rogue above gets some new gear.  He still has his 37.5% crit chance, but manages to get himself expertise capped.  That eliminates all of the dodge chance.  Now his attack table will be..

27% miss
0% dodge
24% glancing blow
4.8 % crit suppression
37.5% crit
the rest (6.5%) is normal hit

He now could increase his crit by another 6.5% without hitting the crit cap.

Now for hit rating.  When you add hit rating, you actually are reducing your chance to miss.  If our fictional rogue adds 5% hit chance he actually reduces his chance to miss from 27% to 22%.  THen his attack table would look like:

22% miss
0% dodge
24% glancing blow
4.8 % crit suppression
37.5% crit
the rest (11.5%) is normal hit

This gives him lots of room to add +crit without hitting the crit cap.

The wrap-up

To find your crit cap, do this:

  • start with 100%
  • subtract the chance to get a glancing blow (24%)
  • subtract the crit suppression for raid bosses (4.8%)
  • subtract the bosses chance to dodge (base 6.5%, reduced by expertise – hover over expertise on your character page to see this)
  • subtract your chance to miss (base 27%, reduced by your +hit chance – hover over Hit Rating on your character page to see this)
  • What you have left is the total chance to hit and crit.  This figure is your crit cap.

Most of us won’t be up against the crit cap unless you’ve been stacking a lot of +crit gear.  Personally, I’m not that close, but another rogue in my guild is within a few percent.  If you’re getting near the crit cap you’ll need to make informed decisions about gear and gems.  Make sure to account for trinket procs if you are getting close to the crit cap.


14 Responses to “Crit Cap”

  1. 1 wrthofnino
    February 9, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Awesome write-up! I also read the same Encrypted Text post on ArPen and Crit caps awhile ago, but the step-by-step examples make this much more relevant and obtainable… at least imho 🙂 Thanks!

  2. 2 Zeenaa
    February 9, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Thanks for this info! I did my calculating and my Crit cap is 49.20% – my Crit is currently at 42.98% so with 6.22% left what should I do now? Let raid buffs take up the rest or am I hurting myself sitting so close to cap?

  3. 3 MegaMick
    February 9, 2010 at 10:39 am

    I suppose you’ve got to consider the different raid buffs that you can get hit and crit from. Those can affect how far you are from the crit cap while raiding.

  4. February 9, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Awesome explanation! I’ve been looking for a way to understand the crit cap better and this post shows exactly that. Thanks.

  5. February 9, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Awesome post – probably the clearest I’ve seen the crit cap explained. Well done :>

  6. 6 MegaMick
    February 9, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I found this little application that calculates the Crit cap for you, has the advantage of you being able to pick which raid buffs you might have that can affect the outcome, and it will take those into the calculations:


    I just tried it, and in the worst possible scenario, a raid where I get pretty much every buff available, I’m still around 17% Crit chance away from the cap. Will check again later when I’m lucky enough to win some rolls on those Icc drops! xD

  7. 8 Quench
    February 10, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    the clearest and easy to understand post on the math i’ve seen yet.nicely done 🙂

  8. 9 Kirbius
    February 10, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    I found a good mod on Curse a few months ago that will give you real-time (with buffs etc) crit cap awareness called “Critic”. I have pretty generic gear in mutilate, and in my current state i’m 7%ish shy on raid bosses (i only 10man 1 night/week). The mod also has the option to watch it as a graph or a simpler set of numbers, and can (i have never seen it myself) give you a warning post-fight if you have crit capped at any point. I calculated my own numbers vs. the mod to confirm when i first got it. One thing i have noticed is it gets a bit screwy when you swap specs&gear so needs a simple /reloadui afterwards.

    Hope this makes the number crunching a bit easier 🙂

  9. 10 Dan
    February 25, 2010 at 8:17 am

    Your calculations are slightly wrong, you need to add the crit suppression to the 100%, not subtract it, to find your white crit cap. The article on wow.com you link to actually says as well 🙂

  10. 11 John
    August 15, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    Wow! Don’t stop making guides! After one week of looking at various equations and articles for at least three hours a day I just about gave up on the subject for good, until I came across this article. Great job!

  11. 12 unknown
    December 31, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    i just want to say thanks man,
    great explanation and great tips.

    you did a great job really

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