The Elemental Shaman PVE

I have been trying to decide on a main for a long time now. It's come down to the Elemental Shaman, Survival Hunter, Frost DK, or a Ret Paladin.

My first choice is the Shaman. I'm just starting to gear up and I have a few questions for some of the experienced Ele's out there; (let me know if any of these are commonly asked questions, I don't frequent the forums)

1. I know we excell in AoE situations but is single target DPS an issue for Ele's? If so, is it permenantly sub-par or does that change after a certain iLvl? (I'm finding it low in the heroics I run)

2. Are we desired for raids or seen as "filler" DPS?

3. Why is our gear, atleast at lower iLvl's, have so much Spirit/Crit or Spirit/___? I know we need hit rating drawn from Spirit but it seems like overkill, or as though the stats were centred around resto. Does this change later on, or is it a non-issue?

I guess what I want to know is if it is worth it in the long run to fully gear this Shaman as Elemental. I know eventually it comes down to preference, but insight from an experienced Elemental would go a long way. I want to love this class, just not sure why yet.

Forgive my ignorance, and thank you for any replies.
1. Elemental single DPS is in the lower half of the chart, not very high compare to pure DPS classes like warlocks, hunters or mages, even lower than boomy.

2. Most guilds are not specifically looking for an ele. If they need a RDPS, they will prioritize those ranged DPS I mentioned above. If a guild already has a mage and/or a resto shaman, chances of them needing an ele is low. Also if a guild is looking for spell haste, they will prioritize Boomy or Spriest, for some reasons I don't know. Ele shaman is never a priority, unless their raid comp is absolutely horrid at aoe fight. Our aoe is not very much better than Destruction warlocks either, so go figure.

3. Blizz went way overboard with spirit this patch. It is the same problem for other classes and specs with way too much hit/exp.

I think you will find it very hard to get into raiding as a low gear ele shaman, unless you have a chance to prove your skill to a guild.
Bummer, my fears about this class at end-game were true then. At least leveling was fun. Hopefully this new exspansion will bring some much needed changes.

Thanks for the reply Draenrya.
I've had the opposite experience: I've seen raids specifically recruiting elemental shamans fairly often. What we lack in pure single target numbers we usually make up for with AOE fights (which there are a fair amount of this tier and last) and utility. I don't know if you're interested in 10 or 25 mans, but in 10s especially, there's a decent to high chance you won't have another bloodlust and/or stormlash totem. Plus, we do provide decent off healing. Plus plus, int mail doesn't go to anyone but shamans, so it can work out better for the raid to pick up a shaman vs yet another cloth user.

Of your four choices, honestly, I'd say elemental is one of the better ones. No one stacks melee, so you'd have a harder time getting into a group with your DK or ret paladin. Of the two Alliance raiding guilds listed as recruiting on your realm (on WoWProgress), one is looking for a tank, and the other has all shaman specs, including elemental, listed as high priority (with DKs medium, rets low, and hunters not listed).

You'll have to gear up a lot, but elemental shamans are definitely considered a viable raid spec.
Elemental is great. Top PvE guild on my server uses me as the go-to reserve guy if they can't fill their raid on Tuesdays, and I'm not even in their guild. I'd say our single target DPS is about average, but we make up for it with huge amounts of utility, top tier AOE damage, and some sweet AOE healing. We also bring Lust/Hero to the table. Not only that, but in 10-man the raid only gets 1 Battle-rez. If for whatever reason a boss is at like 5% and half the raid dies to some random sheit, you can get yourself up and alive without burning that 1 Battle-rez.

I'm quite happy with Ele in PvE. This is the first expansion I've done PvE since TBC, just started gearing for it when 5.4/Timeless Isle hit. 553 ilvl now and loving it. Just over 200k on single target, but can burst close to 1mil DPS for the duration of ascendance on 5+ target situations.

Bringing a good Ele Shaman or 2 can, and has for me, made the difference between the raid bringing two healers instead of 3. Our AoE healing cooldowns are _that_ good, even as a DPS spec.
Currently my guild has ran and is currently running 2 elemental shaman, we have raid utility and cleave damage which are needed on heroic. We can pull our weight easily so its always a solid choice for a raid environment. Different guilds have different needs but an elemental shaman is always welcome if they don't have one.

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