Casual Ele's Guide to Keeping It Casual

Shaman
Someone asked me to make a guide for the casual ele shaman, so here it is. This guide will cover the wheelhouse of the casual ele shaman: WQs, BGs, Island Expeditions, <2k RBGS, <+10 M+ dungeons, LFR & N Uldir.

The information that I present is based on information gathered and tested and compared with my actual game play exp as a casual. And as such i will try to keep this guide up to date as testing and information changes.

The websites that i use are as follows:
https://www.herodamage.com/shaman/

https://stormearthandlava.com/

https://www.icy-veins.com/wow/elemental-shaman-pve-dps-guide

https://www.wowhead.com/elemental-shaman-guide

All content you do will be short fights < 3min in everything except raid bosses which should be <5 min or a little over allowing you to start and finish on your heavy burst. With this in mind everything I will cover will revolve around this concept of short window fights exploiting our heavy bust setup: The build and guide that I will be presenting is not a end all be all build it is just an all around really decent build that covers all casual aspects of the game. Sort of like a one stop shopping for all your ele casual needs.

Abbreviations:
SE: Storm Ele
SK: StormKeeper
EE: Exposed Elements
PE: Primal Elementalist
CL: ChainLightning
LB: Lightning bolt
EQ: Earthquake
ES: Earth Shock
EotE: Echo of the Elements
LvB: Lava burst
AoE: Area of effect, refers to mass pulls of more than 3
ST: Single Target
HV: High Voltage
UP: Unlimited Power

Talents: The talents chosen are to enhance LB/CL to center around Sk and SE
Exposed Elements: This is chosen over EotE because you don't spam LvB in aoe so taking it will be a dps loss, however the increased dmg in ST after ES is tremendous.

Aftershock: The burst potential of multiple EQ/ES in short fight scenarios outweighs the gains you get from TM.

Storm Elemental: The haste buff from SE is huge to burst dmg. My extensive testing has shown that HV is not worth it unless you have mastery >35% for 5+ targets and >40% 3-4 targets. Most of your higher key M+ will be 3-4 group pulls making it not worth it at this level.

Primal Elementalist: This buffs your SE and provides it with a channeled aoe ability. This turns SE+SK into an AOE machine. I pull 50-60k dps easily with this combo.
NOTE: PE will casue you not be able to summon both elementals at once. You can summon the Earth ELE and then summon the storm/Fire ele and it will unsummon the Earth ele. If you have your Storm/Fire ele out and attempt to summon your Earth Elemental it will not work and your Earth Ele will be placed on CD. There is a macro below that will help with this.

Stromkeeper:SK over UP becasue UP needs mastery 40%+ and HV to be worth it and you lose your burst potential without SE+SK.

Secondary Stats:
Crit: You want a minimum of 15%. After you meet the haste and mastery minimums you can stack crit as high as you can. IMO and according to MY testing; for casual content as described above, Crit becomes the main secondary stat after you meet the haste/Mastery Min. The secondary azerite trait unstable flames is a nice proc for crit.

Haste: You want at least 15% , this will put your casts at 1.74 sec which is acceptable to me due to my weapon enchant and secondary azerite proc traits. If it doesn’t work for you push your haste higher to an acceptable level. If you check my armory you will see that I have 13% haste (I get 2% from haste food). To further supplement your haste, use quick navigation weapon enchant and secondary azerite traits such as Overwhelming power and any haste proc trinkets.

Mastery: You want at least 35% Mastery. 35% mastery (according to my testing on 3 mobs, 4 mobs, and 5+ mobs) is where you start seeing a significant increase to Overloads on 5+ mobs). At my current gear inventory and ilvl stacking mastery above 40% creates a huge sacrifice to crit/haste and is not recommended at this time.

Versatility: I have briefly tested versatility and while a few Ele have had success with Crit/Versatility builds in PVP I do not have enough information to suggest stacking this stat.

Azerite Pieces
PVP

Lava Shock Azerite Power
Requires Shaman (Elemental)
Flame Shock damage increases the damage of your next Earth Shock by 172, stacking up to 20 times.
If you can get this x3 you are set. If not get one of the following

Igneous Potential Azerite Power
Requires Shaman (Elemental, Restoration)
Your Lava Burst deals 215 additional damage, and your Lava Surge chance is increased to 18%.
This does not stack only equip one.

Laser Matrix Azerite Power
Your spells and abilities have a chance to release a barrage of lasers, dealing 2835 Arcane damage split among all enemies and restoring 5073 health split among injured allies.

Synapse Shock Azerite Power
Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning increase your Intellect by 19 per target hit for 15 sec, stacking up to 5 times.
Raid
Follow this guide
https://www.herodamage.com/shaman/azerite-levels/1t-pr-elemental

FYI:
The Uldir Azerite pieces that generate RA will choose your highest secondary stat. If you get two pieces and have proc traits/enchants/trinkets they can alter which secondary stats get buffed. I can go from 35 to 50% mastery, and get a couple haste procs and lose my mastery buff and get 25-30% haste from 15%. Actually was sitting on 24% crit from 17% for a while today in Uldir.

Got to Love Shaman RNG

Mythic +
Follow this guide
https://www.herodamage.com/shaman/azerite-levels/hd-pr-elemental

WQs
Minor azerite traits are the only ones I’ll talk about here. If you have any combination of these, grinding on WG aoe pulls will be a breeze.
https://www.wowhead.com/spell=268599/vampiric-speed
https://www.wowhead.com/spell=263962/resounding-protection
https://www.wowhead.com/spell=280203/pack-spirit

Leveling, WQs & Island Expeditions
The art of the AoE pull: Mastering AoE pulls will make your life considerably easier and decrease the amount of time doing quests and even leveling. I will describe several techniques for maximizing your aoe pull potential.
Pull with Eath ELE: There are two ways to pull with your earth ele. To optimize positioning target yourself when you cast earth ele or he immediately aggros the mob you have targeted which can cause some issues in pulling vast areas of elites (island expeditions)

1: Summon your earth ele, mount up, collect all the mobs who will be aggroed by the earth ele, Cast SK, Spam CL+EQ, collect loot. Use cap totem if needed. Just remember that your Elemental duration is reduced for the fight by however long it takes you to collect mobs.

2: Mount up, collect mobs (if you have the mounted speed boost from reputations and your garrison this becomes very easy), summon earth ele, cast SK, spam CL+EQ, collect loot. Cap totem if needed.
Pull with Earth ELE on CD: Just because the big fellow is on CD doesn’t mean you are any less of an aoe grinding machine.

1: Mount up, collect mobs, drop cap totem, cast SK+SE, use SE channeled spell, SPAM CL+EQ. Once you have 3-4 EQ down you can heal yourself if needed. If you have a couple Vampiric seed azerite traits you will not need to.

2: If SE is down use SK with cap totem, Thunderstorm, earthbind totem and keep CL+EQ.
NOTE: I can pull all the azerite elementals to include all the elites in an area, pop Earth ele+ SK and mow them all down. Before earth ele dies there may be 1-2 elites with 50-60K HP if I’m alone. Most of the time, people see you doing this and they help.
You can effectively do a pull every 1 min. It should look like, Massive pull with Earth ELE, Large pull with Storm ELE, Moderate pull with Stormkeeper x2. What you will notice is that there is 30 sec left on SE at this point, I would wait for the 30 sec and do a SK+SE large pull. Moderate pull with Stormkeeper. Then you are back to Earth Ele +SK.

M+ and Raids
Be careful as CL likes to be greedy and pull extra mobs if the tank is not separating groups. Try to end fights with 60+ Maelstrom so you can start pulls with an EQ. Cap totem is your friend use it on CD unless the tank says otherwise. Earth ELE will save wipes and finish Bosses more times than you can count. Thunderstorm on fixate mobs will save you and your healer countless times. Earthbind is a godsend in dungeons where mobs need to be controlled and aoe’d down. Tremor totem will save your bacon in several of the higher key M+ like SoB. Not sure why people hate on ELE when we have access to these amazing tools.

Your initial burst is an aggro magnet, make sure the tank has aggro and is done pulling before you open up. I usually cast SK into cap totem. The CL+EQ spam. These usually gives them enough time to get settled. The larger pulls (More than one group 8+ mobs) I use SK+SE on. Single packs of <5 I only use SK and don’t even bother with SK or SE on 1-3 mobs. The rest comes down to mastering your rotation.

The best advice I can give is to master your rotation of conserving Maelstom and knowing when to dump it. You want to cast ES/EQ when you have 60+ Maelstrom and start casting your next spell. This makes your game play a lot smoother, and it causes the Overloads to generate maelstrom after the ES/EQ spell. This creates a seamless transition between CL/LB and EQ/ES where you are continuously casting. Aftershock puts a wrinkle in this but in a good way.
NOTE: While capping Maelstrom is not ideal, it is not going to affect things at the end of the event.

For single target you open the same. I like to LB into FS, cast LvB, SK into SE then Lust/Hero, LB+ES x2, SE channel, then LB+ES spam. I DO NOT cast Lvb while SE is active unless it is an instacast due to lava surge. The reason why is SE buff does not reduce the cast tome of LvB and casting a 1.74 sec LvB when I can cast 3 0.65 sec LB would be a net loss IMO. After SE leaves, I settle into a normal rotation and cast LvB, FS at 6ish Sec left. I still hold SK for the 30 sec to allow SE to come off CD if needed.

For 2 and 3 target situations I do keep FS up on all targets. On 3 targets I weave LB and CL for the EE buff after ES.

Talent Changing to a better ST on Raid Bosses
Some may want to change to a better ST option for Raid Bosses.

STAT Changes
Crit is still very important
Haste can be lowered slightly to 12-13% due to the change in talents
Mastery increased toward 40% slightly due to the change in talents.

Talents changes

AS (RNG) vs TM: (5% more Mastery to LB/CL, 2% more baseline haste, 5% increase to Flame shock dmg). Either is viable and should come down you where you fall haste/mastery wise and your comfort level. If your base stats dont provide enough you can TM to supplement.

HV over SE: At 40% mastery, HV gets a 20% to OL a second time on all spells that can OL. If you are running TM this is +2.5% chance on LB/CL.

UP over SK: Combined with HV this provides a significant fluctuating haste bonus thereby increasing your dmg significantly. The tricky part is to get use to maintaining UP up and casting as UP is about to fall over increasing your chances of getting an immediate hast proc. In heavy movement fights and bad RNG, you may have a small delay in getting UP up and running, however once you are chugging along it feels really nice.

This is also good for bosses like Zul and Ghuun where adds need to be handles quickly. If you have UPP rolling you can easily transition into a CL/EQ spam and mows adds down rather quickly. It takes a little practice, however is quite rewarding when played correctly.

Macros

#show Earth Elemental
/script PetDismiss()
/castsequence reset=5 Frost Shock, Earth Elemental

This will dismiss your SE/Fire ele and cast Frost shock on a target then summon your Earth ELE. You have to mash it twice. DO NOT MASH IT A THIRD TIME. The third press will unsummon your earth ele. I am working on a way to make it mashable.
PVP
Overview: Ele is well suited for team fights where they can peel for healers/team mates with their numerous skills: cap totem, Thunderstorm, Earthbind, hex, Frost shock, Windshear and off heals. While dealing massive amounts of burst dmg through: Earth Shock+Aftershock talent, SK+CL+EQ on clusterd targets.

While ele can be decent 1v1 with the right talent selections; the lose of recent skills in this expansion have greatly reduced the ease at which the ele can handle many melee 1v1 and most 2v1 situations.

What I will cover in this section is a breakdown of what your role should be in group pvp, azerite traits/talent combinations for survival vs dmg, setting up knockoffs, setting up cc kills, locking down healers.

Group PVP Role
The current role of ele in group pvp is to be a disrupter with the ability to provide huge burst dmg ST or AoE. Due to the decrease in our mobility we are no longer able to freely rush into the enemy back lines and create chaos and bounce out. We are now either between melee and healers or back with healers.

Utilizing your tools to support your team while nuking kill/low health targets will get you remembered and re-invited to the next RBGs.

If you find that you are getting sat by a rogue or other melee by the end of the match or from the beginning by a team you just faced; you know you are doing your job.

Through our various skills/talents/traits we can fill a myriad of roles and functions in the team fight.

key talents/skills
ES is your money maker, however you don't want to waste it. Make sure the target hasn't popped defensives or has absorb shields on. ES is buffed/enhanced by MotE talent, lava shock azerite trait, earth fury pvp talent, skyfury totem, aftershock to name a few.

My avg non crit ES is 20-30 k with various buffs and 39 k with skyfury/MotE/20 stack lava shock.
My avg crit ES is 45-50k with various buffs and almost 60 k with tons of buffs.
I have hit multiple +40k ES back to back with AS. My highest ES is 185k in ToK. My highest on a FC is 150k.

Flame shock will be your highest dmg ability and should be used on CD. With 2-3 FS out you will be swimming in lava surge procs and not necessarily need the EotE talent especially if you have an igneous potential trait.

EQ is HIGHLY under rated in group pvp though it is very situational. Paired with AS talent and SK CL spam and SE. I have wiped groups by dropping 2-3 EQ on a cap totem or in a mage RoF or into a blood dk gorefiend grip. Followed by SE aoe channel and CL +EQ spam. Rsham drops link on your 3-4 EQ while your SE is channeling is soooooooo fun to watch all their health bars just drop.

Hex is a great interrupt for healers/dps using CDs. The pvp talent allows you to become extremely disruptive.

Cap totem (with or without talent) is one of the few aoe short CD stunts in the game and is highly disruptive.

Earthbind is an excellent snare for peeling or to separate healers from FCs/kill targets.

I like to cap totem into thunderstorm on the healers then place earthbind in their path.

SK+LB but more importantly SK CL will generate a big portion of your burst potential. Especially on grouped targets of 4-5 +. Remember that SK+CL will proc a CL OL on EVERY target hit which also has a chance to proc OL along with your normal mastery chance and the HV talent chance if you took it. This will generate tons of maelstrom.

SE+SK+CL in group fights near a node, near the flag, near a cart, near an FC will generate crazy dmg and with ES spammed in will create overwhelming pressure for the opposing team.

Azerite Trait & Talent Combinations
Lava shock is the azerite trait you want and you want 3. This turns your already heavy hitting ES into potential 40-45% HP execute and with AS and Earthfury and elemental attunement it has a 2 sec off dr stun and the potential to be spammed multiple times.

Igneous potential increases LvB dmg and increases the chance to proc lava surge. This is a great 2nd option while you grind and fight RNGesus for lava shock.

Synapse springs, ruinous bolt, or any of the other top dps azerite traits on herodamage are viable.

For secondary traits: if you are solo queuing you may want to forgo specific main azerite traits and go with solid secondaries. Pack spirit is amazing with spirit wolf and specteal recovery pvp talents and it stacks and it can crit.
The resounding protection absorb shield is nice and stacks.
The astral shift heal on use and end is another very nice heal that stacks and can crit.

EE vs EotE vs ele blast
Ele blast is a no because it locks you on all schools and does crap dmg and generates no maelstrom
EE and EotE are both great choices and I am leaning more back to EotE because we are losing EE in 8.1.

AS vs MotE vs TM
TM is horrible and I would not use. The only use I got out if it is when you are running all the pvp totems. You can disguise your grounding/skyfury/reflect totem(forgot name).

AS vs MotE: both are really good and have their playstyles though I lean toward AS for those RNG ES spams.

HV vs SE vs MT
Magma totem is nice for spinning flags but gets stomped to easily.
HV really requires us to either be extremely stationary or have +40% mastery to be beneficial.
SE is the clear winner until 8.1. The haste bonus to LB/CL is huge. The Aoe dmg from the channel spell it gets from PE puts out tremendous pressure ST or Aoe.

PE vs IF:
The third isnt even worth mentioning. IF doesnt generate any maelstrom and the dmg is sub par. It is getting a significant boost in 8.1.
The buff to SE dmg is well worth it.

UP vs SK vs Asc
Ascendance is a giant cc ne button and has always been.
UP requires a lot of mastery and for you to turret and micro manage the buff.
SK is a short CD buffs both ST and aoe dmg. Clear winner.

knockoffs, Setting up cc kills, locking down healers

Why Ele is a late bloomer
For several expansions now, ele shaman has been a slow starter at the beginning and becomes stronger mid expansion and finally ends very strong.
The reason for this is that we scale our secondary stats extremely well. So while other classes begin to plateau when they reach certain thresholds we keep rising in strength. The following was taken from another thread where the person actually did the math and sims.

Post by Thulgrum

@Madalynn

I was highly skeptical of your post regarding Elemental Shaman stat weights, so I went ahead and started modeling variable ilvls across toons and was totally shocked to find out you were right. I messed around with Balance, Arcane, Fire, Frost, and Shadow this expansion, but what I found running sims on your character took me aback.

At your current 368 ilvl you are currently getting more DPS per point out of both haste and mastery than intellect. I had to re-run my sims, I thought that couldn't possibly be correct, none of the other specs I've played have secondaries that scaled that well, but there it is. Further more, all 5 of your stats scale higher than any of my Mage's secondaries in Frost, Fire, or Arcane at only 8 ilvls lower and 4 of them gain more DPS per point than my Frost mage's Intellect stat.

Wow, it's looking like Elemental is going to tear up the next raiding tier.
I asked for it! Thanks a lot!!!!!!!
I wouldnt discredit HV so easily. While I still use SE for m+ and ae based things, HV is a clear winner for me on single target damage. A solid like..400-500dps more.

The haste for SE being up, while great, isn't the main point of SE. For example, if you run SE and Ascendance...you will still want to use both during a burn phase and cast LvB (hard or instant).

SE does the majority of its damage through its PE unlocked ability and natural casting.
@Akston

Don't get me wrong, HV has its place and is very good when paired with UP and the +5% Mastery from TM. In my testing they pair really well on ST. However this is more geared toward an all purpose build/spec/talent, though it is by far NOT the only way to do things.
I have run HV/UP in low to mid level M+ for testing with 40% mastery and it is (from my exp) feast or famine with usually slow to get started. However once you get UP rolling and time your casts as UP is falling off it feels really really good.

It is just too inconsistent especially in pug groups where pulls aren't chained together and you wait 1-2 min between pulls and lose your UP stacks or chasing a tank due to affixes and lose all your UP stacks.

What people NEED to know about HV is that it does NOT interact with SK the way they may think.

For example if you have 30% mastery and cast SK (100% to OL), HV still only has a 15% chance to create a secondary overload. At 40% this is 20%.

Swapping to a HV/UP build for ST is totally worth doing. Thanks for your input.
11/07/2018 08:07 AMPosted by Madalynn
@Akston

Don't get me wrong, HV has its place and is very good when paired with UP and the +5% Mastery from TM. In my testing they pair really well on ST. However this is more geared toward an all purpose build/spec/talent, though it is by far NOT the only way to do things.
I have run HV/UP in low to mid level M+ for testing with 40% mastery and it is (from my exp) feast or famine with usually slow to get started. However once you get UP rolling and time your casts as UP is falling off it feels really really good.

It is just too inconsistent especially in pug groups where pulls aren't chained together and you wait 1-2 min between pulls and lose your UP stacks or chasing a tank due to affixes and lose all your UP stacks.

What people NEED to know about HV is that it does NOT interact with SK the way they may think.

For example if you have 30% mastery and cast SK (100% to OL), HV still only has a 15% chance to create a secondary overload. At 40% this is 20%.

Swapping to a HV/UP build for ST is totally worth doing. Thanks for your input.


Agree there. I wouldnt use HV without UP really, and I wouldnt use UP in m+ at all outside of a few specific dungeons/affixes. If its like..Underrot on tyrannical. Where you dont have a lot of large trash pulls, and more trash is 1 or 2 big mobs.

The AE burst on trash from SK and SE (with PE) is just too great.
Changelog section

I've updated a section under M+ and raids to include a ST option for raid bosses.
For PvP (random BGs) which is better PE buffed SE or PE buffed FE? From my testing on target dummies, primal SE does slightly more damage but its channel ability can be interrupted? Where as Meteor is instant. I was wondering what others think.
@Grachnist

They are both more or less equivalent. The decision will some on the SE tier. Do you take HV, SE, MT.

Almost all the high rated ele's I've seen take HV and have well below 30% mastery which makes it extremely RNG and you have to consider how often you are casting LB/CL outside SK. Remember SK doesnt change the proc chance of HV.

MT does great dmg had a low CD and is great for spinning nodes, however it easy easily shut down with its low HP.

So I choose SE for the channeled dmg and the haste buff it gives for turreting LB/CL since my PVP hat isnt optimal. And because I dont cast LB or CL enough and my mastery isnt near 40% to make HV worth it at a 20% chance for second OL. And because you can stomp MT so easily.

The real question will be in 8.1 when we have to choose between. SoP>PE>IF. I'm leaning more toward SoP for group PVP.
We will also have to choose between the new CoT>SE>MT. I'm leaning toward CoT for group PVP.
Very good job, Madalynn, I appreciate the effort of doing this guide.

Haven't played Ele much this xpac specially since it feels kinda clunky. I'll admit I've yet to try SE with PE, so far I've used HV (most of the time) and LMT for burst AoE.

Now, I have a question and hope you guys can clear this up: when I cast LB with SK buff, I automatically get an OL proc. Do I still have my regular chance (= mastery) of proccing a second OL? And does HV gives me 0.5*(mastery) chance of a third OL?

For 8.1, does SoP really makes LB cause an extra number of overloads between 1-3? Sounds like really OP with the buff to LB dmg, I'm looking forward to try it.

Thanks in advance.
@Durin
SK in it's current form makes two LB/CL instant and guarantees an OL on each target hit.

Your mastery still has its same chance to also proc an OL.

HV uses your mastery when LB/CL are casts and has a 50% chance of your mastery. 20% mastery will give HV a 10% chance. HV is not affected by SK in any increased chance for HV to proc. This is why I cant see why arena players use it when they have 18-20% mastery.

Yes that is the slated changed for SoP. And the new SK will also increases dmg of LB and the subsequent OL meaning the LB from SK, the OL from SK and the OL from SoP will all be increased by 250%. Which of they crit will be and insane amount of dmg and proc enough maelstrom yo follow up with an ES.
So what's the best pvp setup for arenas? I find arena very hard as ele. The melee train is unstoppable. Almost 2 second cast times feels so bad. A melee can dish out 50k+ damage and interrupt me in the process before I can get a cast off.
@Flumph
I really can only speculate as I have not gotten into arenas this xpac.

This is the highest ranked ele:

https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/character/tichondrius/Ozzatello

Mostly I have seen high haste low mastery builds with AS HV SK. They stack lava shock trait, build maelstrom and stacks of lava shock. Then pop burst trinkets/talents and pray for crits on ES.

ES CRITS for 40-60k depending on facials and buffs. ES non crits are 22-35k that I have seen.

I will leave more experienced people to comment more than this.
Feel free to disagree, but this would be fine for heroic raiding as well. I feel there's a much larger jump when going into mythic raids (although I would argue that you could be just fine in that content as well). Unsure if heroic is considered casual though
@Madalynn

Thanks for the response, and once again thanks for the guide. Really helps keep the lava alive in us shammies that were disappointed.
11/12/2018 02:39 PMPosted by Madalynn
@Flumph
I really can only speculate as I have not gotten into arenas this xpac.

This is the highest ranked ele:

https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-us/character/tichondrius/Ozzatello

Mostly I have seen high haste low mastery builds with AS HV SK. They stack lava shock trait, build maelstrom and stacks of lava shock. Then pop burst trinkets/talents and pray for crits on ES.

ES CRITS for 40-60k depending on facials and buffs. ES non crits are 22-35k that I have seen.

I will leave more experienced people to comment more than this.


Cheers! That's a decent build. Surprised he's not running AS with ele attunement though. I played around with that, and you can cast 2 ES, and have a chance for a refund on both. So sometimes you get 3-4 critted ES's off. It's insane haha
11/12/2018 02:42 PMPosted by Zantmage
Feel free to disagree, but this would be fine for heroic raiding as well. I feel there's a much larger jump when going into mythic raids (although I would argue that you could be just fine in that content as well). Unsure if heroic is considered casual though


I think it "would be fine". I just don't have the exp to support that.

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