- Changes to the way RPPM works make haste slightly less valuable than before, but does not change our stat or T15 trinket priorities significantly. As always, sim yourself to determine your own stat priorities.
- A 10% nerf to our Fire Elemental reduces PE's effectiveness in single target situations. However, PE is still strong in cleave fights.
- A small buff to UF as well as gear getting us closer to mastery and haste caps makes UF stronger than EB on pure single target. However, EB pulls ahead if any target switching is involved.
Table of Contents
1) Introduction & Basics Information
- A) Introduction
- B) Playstyle
- C) Stats and Gearing
- D) Buffs and Debuffs
- E) Frequently Asked Questions
- A) Primary Spells
- B) Secondary Spells
- C) Utility Spells
- D) Buffs and Passives
- A) Talents
- B) Glyphs
- A) Priority List
- B) Movement
- C) Multitarget
- D) Cooldown use
- E) Advanced Shock Management
- A) Haste Caps & Breakpoints
- B) Hit Cap
- C) Stat Priority
- D) Racial Bonuses
- A) Stat Priorities
- B) Gems
- C) Enchants
- D)Set bonuses
- E) Trinkets
- A) 1-10
- B) 11-20
- C) 21-30
- D) 31-40
9) User Interface - Coming Soon
- A) Addons
- B) Configs
- C) Macros
1) Introduction & Basics Information
This is a PvE guide for Elemental Shaman written collaboratively by Binkenstein, Endus & Gistwiki. Contained within you will find everything you need to know to play Elemental at a competitive level in PvE content.
Elemental is the ranged caster damage specialisation of Shaman. It relies on a number of cooldown based spells for damage, along with a single dot and a charge/expend ability. It also has a number of damage & utility spells in the form of totems, the signature ability for Shaman. As well, it is the most armoured of caster specs thanks to mail & shields, and can assist with some off-spec heals if necessary (especially with talents). Elemental also has the potential for very high mobility with minimal loss in DPS with certain glyph choices.
C) Stats & Gearing
Elemental focuses on Intellect gear, with any of Crit, Haste, Hit, Mastery or Spirit as secondary stats. A rough stat priority is:
Intellect > Hit/Spirit to 15% cap > Haste > Mastery > Crit
Note: Crit/Haste/Mastery weights & priorities vary depending on glyphs & talents, so it's important to generate your own weights on a regular basis. Any basic suggestion such as this one can very easily be off for your particular circumstances. Some more detail on what circumstances can and will effect this and how will be in the Stats & Gearing sections of the guides.
D) Buffs & Debuffs
Elemental provides three passive raid buffs:
- -Mastery (Grace of Air),
- -5% Spell Haste (Elemental Oath), and
- -10% Spell Power (Burning Wrath).
In addition, Earth Shock applies the Weakened Blows debuff for 30 seconds, reducing the damage the target deals by 10%. The duration is sufficient to essentially guarantee uptime, despite the somewhat random nature of Earth Shock use.
As well, each Shaman brings Stormlash Totem, a 10s duration Air Totem with a 5 minute cooldown, which adds nature damage to all spells and attacks by party and raid members within 30 yards. This is a strong raid DPS cooldown, though it should be used one after the other if there are multiple Shaman as the effect does not stack.
E) Frequently Asked Questions
Q) If I take Primal Elementalist when should I use Empower?
A) Empower has two functions: give Restoration Shaman something to take Primal Elementalist for, and to give you a damage buff when your Fire Elemental can't hit anything. The only way you'll be able to use Empower all the time is if you can somehow do eight times your average DPS for the entire duration. eg: in T14H gear the Primal Fire Elemental deals about 40,000 dps. You'll need that to be 5% of your output (or 800,000 dps) for Empower to be useful all the time.
Q) Why is Elemental Blast behind Lava Burst in the rotation?
A) Elemental Blast deals less damage for it's cast time than Lava Burst, and the buff isn't enough to make up the difference. Rotation priorities are almost always in order of Damage Per Cast Time (DPCT).
Q) Why is <item with crit rating> better than <item without crit rating>?
There's a few reasons. Critical strike rating is not as bad as it was in Cataclysm, often being within 5% of the value of Mastery. Gear with a higher item level will often be worth more, irrelevant of the stats on it (eg: comparing 509 items with 502 items) Once you have reached the Hit cap, additional Hit/Spirit isn't useful. This can swing things in favour of Crit items without Hit/Spirit, when considering the first point about stat weights.
Q) Should I use a stopcasting macro to cancel Lightning Bolt & cast Lava Burst when I get a Surge proc?
Short Answer: No, remember your ABC's of Casting (Always Be Casting)
Long Answer: No, but it is possible if you can cancel your Lightning Bolt cast if you've only been casting it for 0.15 / (1+Haste) seconds (or 150 ms). Ignoring the Global Cooldown it's technically it's possible, but unless you have a very low latency and lightning reflexes this won't be possible (not to mention possible interactions with the Spell Queue), not to mention the fact that the GCD is 1-1.5 seconds (depending on haste)
Advanced Reasoning: The logic behind this is that the time you loose by cancelling your Lightning Bolt cast effectively reduces the damage per execute time value of the next Lava Burst, meaning that you're comparing the damage per second of Lava Burst / ( cast time + time wasted ) vs (Lava Burst + Lightning Bolt) / cast time. Using some SimCraft results, I've worked this out to be 150 milliseconds in a completely un-hasted setup. As this is less than the Global Cooldown (GCD) it means you won't be able to get your next spell off until 1.5 / (1+Haste%) seconds have passed, giving the stopcasting macro a much lower overall DPS.
Q) What is this 6050 Haste Breakpoint I keep hearing about?
A) The 6050 breakpoint is often touted as the "minimum" haste needed, after which it is equal to Mastery in value. As yet I can find no evidence for a breakpoint here, nor can I find any significant breakpoints outside of the soft 50% and hard 100% haste caps. Often it is mentioned in relation to Flame Shock, however the break points for that are at 4052 & 8106 haste rating.
A) Primary Spells
- Chain Lightning
Acquired at level 28. Is the base spell for area of effect damage. Jumps three times (five when glyphed) dealing less damage on each jump.
- Earth Shock
Acquired at level 5. Shock spell that deals nature damage and applies the Weakened Blows effect. Shares a 5 second cooldown with other shock spells. Also procs the Fulmination effect, which discharges excess Lightning Shield charges (ie: above one) at the target.
Acquired at level 60 with Elemental Specialization. A placed AoE, with a small chance of knockdown. The damage it provides is only effective compared to Chain Lightning on 5+ targets. 10 second cooldown and duration.
- Flame Shock
Acquired at level 14. Shock spell that deals fire damage and applies a damage over time effect to the target for 24 seconds. Shares a 5 second cooldown with other shock spells. Required for the 100% crit chance effect of Lava Burst. The DoT duration can be extended by 25% (up to 30 seconds) at the expense of 25% of the direct damage portion of the spell via a glyph.
- Lava Burst
Acquired at level 34. Lava Burst is our primary nuke, and is a guaranteed crit with Flame Shock on the target, meaning that it will always proc Elemental Focus as well.
- Lightning Bolt
Acquired at level 1. Deals nature damage with a base cast time of 2 seconds. The basic filler spell for Elemental. Causes Rolling Thunder & Elemental Overload procs.