Tips for New Tamers: Hit Chance

Since the release of Warlords of Draenor, the hit chance for battle pet abilities has been incredibly simple. Big hard-hitting abilities with a short cooldown have a 50% chance to hit, everything else has a 100% chance to hit. Nothing in it, right?

So why did that 100% move of yours end up missing just now?

Well there are a few things you need to pay attention to when it comes to hit chance.

The first thing to account for is levels.

If your pet is a lower level than the pet you’re fighting, you automatically lose 2% hit chance for every level your pet is lower than your opponent’s pet. This is something that isn’t reflected in the tool tips, which makes it very easy to forget this mechanic even exists, especially when you get to the stage where you can carry all of your lower level pets.

Weather
Another thing that often gets forgotten about is that certain weather effects change all active pets’ hit chance.

Specifically, the Sandstorm and Darkness weather effects both reduce hit chance by 10%. If one of these effects is up, that 100% ability will now be 90%, and let’s just not even try that 50% ability, with it now being 40% — well, unless RNG loves you, you’ll be missing a lot while that weather effect is up.

Still, it’s all fairly straightforward stuff — except for our crow here. Crows and Gilnean Ravens both have a lovely little ability: Nocturnal Strike. Its use is fairly simple: blind your opponent’s pet and hit them for a tonne of damage. Darkness makes it so all pets are considered blinded, so that large amount of damage gets done for free. So why did it miss just then?

There are two reasons Nocturnal Strike can miss. In scenario one, your opponent’s pet is blinded but you still get that 10% reduction from the Darkness effect. That automatic hit of yours became a 90% move. Still decent odds, but we all have days where even a 90% just doesn’t want to land for you.

Scenario two has your opponent bringing out an Elemental pet, and they have an annoying habit of ignoring negative weather effects. So much for that plan. Your 100% strike is still 50% because blindness by weather effect just doesn’t work on those guys.

So now we’ve no weather effects, and a 100% move that really must hit.

Except that snake just spat poison at you and now you’ve gained the blind debuff. It reduces your hit chance by 100%. There are a few moves that can get around this: Flurry has only its first attack affected by the blindness; the other 1-2 hits will still land. There are other moves with that same mechanic, but they are few and far between.

The Magic pets you’ll be facing can be pesky too.

Some of the Magic-type pets, such as Nordrassil Wisp, have an ability that can cause you to be partially blind. While it doesn’t sound as bad, the partial blindness typically persists over multiple rounds, making it much more difficult to hurt your opponent.

In a similar theme are persistant hit debuffs such as Stench and Inebriate. Both of these moves reduce hit chance by 25%, and rather than just affecting the pet that is out, your entire team is affected, and it lasts for four rounds.

Improving your Hit Chance
Somewhat counter to this, other pets have the ability to buff their chance to hit. There are team buffs, such as Nimbus, that give you a persistant boost to your whole team, and there are individual buffs such as Focus.

These moves are best used for increasing the chance of your 50% moves hitting. These moves also tend towards having extra crit chance, which means you get a little better chance of doing a massive hit on your opponent as well.

There are many moves that allow you to avoid an opponent’s attack. Moves such as the Rabbit’s Dodge or a Sprite Darter’s Evanescence avoid the damage altogether, and if you have a fast enough pet that you go first, this effect effectively lasts for two rounds.

A pet can increase its chance to dodge. Cute Face, used by the various panda pets from Pandaria and Brightpaw, can increase their chance to dodge by 25%. There’s also Frolick, a 50% boost to dodge chance. There are fewer of these moves than the outright dodge-type moves. However, they do still serve well for avoiding damage in battle.

After this point we start getting into avoidance moves that do not directly affect hit chance, a point we will be addressing in a future article.

If you wish to go looking for more pets or moves that affect hit chance, check out WarcraftPets and use their smart pet search. The Ability Tag search option, found at the bottom of the search box list, gives you a dropdown list of general ability categories you can use to find pets with abilities you desire on your team.

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