What is the Lunar Crit Cap?
In short, the Lunar Crit Cap is the level at which a combination of Crit Rating and Intelligence will make your Starfire Crit chance go above 100% with full raid buffs.
It has actually been around for a while. Several moonkin were able to reach it with a combination of 2T8 and high level gear our of ToGC. I've just chosen not to comment on it in the past because I thought it would be a temporary issue that very few people would have. However, with the changes to Eclipse in patch 3.3, the Lunar Crit Cap is alive and kicking. Lets take a quick look at some numbers.
We each have a base crit chance of 1.85%. On top of that we have a ton of bonuses we get from both self buffs and raid buffs.
|Base Crit Chance||1.85|
|Imp Insect Swarm||3|
|Imp Faerie Fire||3|
|Totem of Wrath||3|
|Total from buffs||64.85|
As you can see, If you have full raid buffs you have a 64.85& chance to crit during Lunar Eclipse without including any Intelligence or Crit Rating into the equation. Some of you may be thinking that 35.15% crit chance from Crit Rating and Int is a lot, and it is, but it is probably closer then you think.
Looking at my own gear, I have close to 1200 Int unbuffed. I know that I am better geared then a lot of people, but I have only one piece of ICC gear. Everyone's gear is going to improve a lot over the next few weeks. With full raid buffs my base 1200 int will turn into 1620 Int ((1200+52+60)*1.1*1.1*1.02). If you divide that number by 166.66 you can see that I will get 9.72% crit chance from Int alone. Combine that with what I get from buffs and all of a sudden I have a 74.57 crit chance.
To pick up the last 25.43% from crit rating I would need 1167 points of crit rating. Once you take the 220 Crit rating I will get from [Idol of Lunar Eclipse] then you can see my Lunar Crit cap drops down to 947 crit rating.
Again, It may seem like I am a long way away from the cap since I only have 699 crit rating currently, but it's important to remember 2 things. First, we are only at the beginning of ICC. Being only 248 below the cap with very little gear from the highest level of content is very close. Second, as your gear improves the Crit rating cap will come down as you pick up more Int. If I pick up just 100 more Int then my Crit Cap comes down to 913 Crit Rating. With 200 more Int the cap is down to 880. If you get Focus Magic from a Mage the Cap is even lower.
How do I calculate my Crit Cap?
Since the Crit Cap depends on a combination of Int and Crit Rating, our individual caps will be different. Therefore you may be wondering how to calculate your own. Well, I know of two quick ways and both of them come from Hamlet on the Moonkin Think Tank post.
- The Rough Estimate: This equation will give you a rough estimate 1575.5 - Int/3. Lets see how this equation apples to me. My armory has me at 1227 Int. Plugging that into the equation says my Lunar Crit Cap is 946.5 (1575.5-(1227/3)). As you can see that is really close to the number I calculated above.
- WrathCalcs: If you plug your stats, talent build, and raid buffs into WrathCalcs it will calculate the cap for you at the bottom. You can find WrathCalcs at the Think tank linked above.
Why this Matters?
Both WrathCalcs and SimulationCraft are valuing Crit Rating more then Haste Rating if you have more then 400 Haste Rating. That doesn't mean Haste is useless, but it does mean that you will probably favor Crit a little more then you will favor haste while you gear up. Knowing your Lunar Crit Cap is important because it operates like the Haste Soft Cap. Crit rating won't be worthless after the cap, but it will drop in value. At that point, you will likely want to favor Haste a little more then Crit Rating.