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The Gladiator: The Caps

December 16, 2009

The Arena, a place of gore, death, but most of all, glory. One must take everything, ‘lest he wishes to lose everything he has worked hard for in this life.  Do you have what it takes, Death Knight?

Last we met, you were just a whelpling, but wait! You still are! Alright, you found a spec that works for your specific play style, but you still are not ready to head into the Arena just yet. Just like PvE (Player verses Environment) PvP (Player verses Player) combat has a few set stats that are needed in order for a player to perform to their maximum capabilities.

Remember, there are some stats that weigh more heavy for a specific play style, as well as a few stats just having a suggested minimum rather than a “cap and just balance around this number”. Regardless, if it is suggested, you as a player really should determine trying to reach that amount.

Hit Cap
Worry not young-lings, the hit cap for successfully landing blows on your enemies is significantly less than is the hit cap for PvE. However, that does not make it any less important, and in actuality it should be at the very LEAST just as important. Being able to hit your enemies whom have a mind of their own, with the maximum potential of your abilities is crucial. As a potential member of a team, it is your duty to play at your maximum potential or else your Arena Team will suffer.

That being said, the hit cap for PvP is merely 5% Melee hit which comes out to around 163.95 total Hit Rating. It is quite a bit less than PvE, which makes it a hell of a lot easier to obtain. Figure it this way, you are still capable of gemming and enchanting for Hit Rating, but you also have an ace in the hole.

The gear from Winter Grasp, in addition to your weapon can give you a large edge in Hit. All of the WG-obtainable gear has +hit on it. So if you are not lucky and are already at the HC then go ahead and get the boots/belt/bracers (I’d be reluctant to get the chest/legs due to them being part of the actual set which has some nice bonuses on it).

Quit your damn whining and get the PvP hit cap, damn recruits and their whining.

Muchy! You said that out-loud!
So?…. What’s…. your point?… Damn pansy,,
What if one of them is a lawyer? They could sue our @#$#% off!
FIGHT… the machine!…

NOTICE: The bridge- where all good gladiators play tag.

Spell Penetration
No, I am not kidding you, Spell Penetration can be a very important stat for a Death Knight in PvP combat.

What Spell Penetration is

Spellpen (Spell Penetration) reduces the chance that a spell can be resisted. The reason that this is practically useless in PvE is simply that most bosses do not have buffs/auras that increase their chances to resist your spells. Whereas, in the glory of the Arena there are multiple makeups of teams, and every single one of them could get bonuses to resisting your spells.

Paladins with their Frost/Shadow resistance auras, Druids with their Mark/Gift of the Wild, and Priests with their Shadow Protection. Most of these (excluding the Druid’s buff which is 54 resistance to ALL schools of magic) give +130 to resist a specific school of magic. Figure it this way, it is extremely common to have at LEAST one of these in any team makeup, so it is highly likely that you will have to deal with your opponents resisting your magic.

Every second you waste trying to put Plague Strike on your enemy is a second wasted doing more burst and helping out your allies, remember. So with that being said, Spellpen merely reduces the time that you need to waste by having a silence not working, or heavy-damaging spells doing absolutely no damage and wasting your time instead.

What the hell do you mean “CAN be a very important stat”?
Now that we know what spellpen is it should be easier to figure out how it helps us. Considering not all of our abilities are in fact spells, which ones are? Strickly speaking, anything that can be resisted is granted protection from being resisted. Spells such as our diseases, Howling Blast, Strangulate, Mind Freeze, Death Coil, and Frost Strike.

Notice, most of the spells are used heavily by Frost or Unholy specced Death Knights. I would recommend those of you who are said specs to stay and figure out how much Spellpen you actually will WANT. For Blood, it is important, but if you do not have a problem with spells being resisted, there is no point in trying to gem for it!

How much is enough?

It really does depend on what you are trying to do for PvP. Because of the vast possibilities of PvP, I will give you three different options to work with for Spell Power.

The Casual Battleground Player- None, 0, zip, zilch. You DO NOT NEED IT! Just because your strangulate missed a few times does not make you a horrible person. There are 9-39 other people in that battle ground, so the sheer numbers will kill your enemies, not that one strangulate that could have been.

Casual Arena Fanatic- You are a well balanced player. When you are not taking a stab at Arthas and his minions you like to que up with a few friends and smash some skulls in the arena. Hey, if you made it to the top 3, that’d be great, but you don’t quite expect much.

55-75 Spellpen is perfectly fine to be honest. Since you are not planning on being very hardcore with PvP there is no point to be that guy who’s spells can not be resisted. Just go out there and crack some skulls!

Relentless in a week- Raiding? Raiding is for those people who can’t do PvP motha#*&@%! My team has 3k rating in season 8, and that shit isn’t even out yet!

Right… well, for you I would recommend 75-130 Spellpen. It can knock out about a single resistance buff and the results will be seen immediately in the higher brackets. During the margin of time that you are waiting for your next match, maybe tutor yourself in English?

Where can I find this “Spell Penetration?”
No, it is not on any of the plate gear that you will be acquiring during your rise to fame so you are flat-out of luck there. However, it is in gems, and epic gems enchantments! Pick out a healthy combination of the two depending on how you would rate yourself as a PvPer (or how you wish to be as a PvPer).

See? It IS useful!

Resilience is (for the most part) a PvP exclusive stat. With that being said, it is massively important as a Death Knight to stack this and hold it dear. It is very much responsible for our survivability in the Arena, so obviously its deliciousness is greeted with open arms.

Break it down
Resilience can be found on most of the gear that is offered for the price of either Winter Grasp tokens, Arena points, or even Honor from its respective vendors. Every 1% of resilience you acquire (82 rating), resilience gives -1% chance to be crit, -2.2% critical damage done to you, -1% total damage received, and -2.2% mana drain done to you.

The cap for resilience is 33% less chance to be crit, which equates to about 1414.5 rating. In actuality, it is damn near impossible to reach the cap without suffering major performance losses.

How much is enough?
When it comes to resilience there really is no set limit on which I would say for you to stop getting it all together. Personally, if you are just starting out and want to contest in the Arena and desire NOT to be carried then you will want 300-500 resilience minimum.

In actuality it is not that hard to get. Just get at least the PvP Trinket and the delicious 4set bonus on the purchasable PvP set. Will it be time-consuming and a living hell? Damn straight, but you will walk out of those BGs and WG games knowing a little bit more about yourself, your limits, and your class each time.


Excluding the hit cap, the caps for PvP are strangely different to that of the PvE. There is a cap, but it can vary between what your play-style is and how serious of a PvPer you are.

Just remember still, if you stack just one stat, you will suffer in everything else. Balance is key, even more so in PvP where the environment can change in an instant!

Happy WoWing!

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 19, 2009 5:33 AM

    I’m going to give a slightly larger Res number cap.

    A beginning arena player, who doesnt want to be zerged every game in about 5 seconds, is going to want at least 500-600 to start. THis means all PvP gear in all slots, at the very least. past that, mess around with gems and enchants until you have an amount you are comfortable with.

    Just remember: stack Resilience means less damage: and if you’re expected to be the damage dealer, you must at least be able to dish out your damage.

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