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  1. #1
    Moderator Endus's Avatar
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    Elemental FAQ (updated for 4.3)

    Any recent changes will be left in red text, for ease of locating new info.
    This table of contents contains links to the specific pages, allowing you to skip straight to the questions you want answered.

    This guide is PvE-focused. If you're looking for PvP tips and help, Paf has written an Elemental PvP 4.2 FAQ which you can use for that purpose.

    Table of Contents

    Contents
    1. Talents

    2. Stats
    Reforging
    Gemming
    Enchanting


    3. Glyphs

    4. Priority Queue
    4.2 and AoE Priority

    5. Mana Management 101
    Why not stack Fulmination to 9?
    How should I use my CDs?
    Why not use UE?
    Why am I an interrupt-bot?
    Why is Searing Totem/Fire Elemental so dumb?


    6. Totems
    Professions


    7. Simulationcraft 101
    World of Logs


    8. Useful Addons


    Incoming Changes (Updated when I can)

    We don't have anything new incoming since 4.3 just went live. As we get closer to MoP, I'm likely to start a brand new sticky just for the new expansion info.
    Last edited by Endus; 2012-02-27 at 02:05 PM.

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    Talents

    Talents:

    Our basic spec, with two floating points, looks like this;



    Your options for the two floating points are basically;

    • Totemic Reach, the extra radius on buff totems is nice, as is the small range boost to Searing Totem.
    • Elemental Warding/Ancestral Resolve/Spark of Life. These are all survivability talents, if you think you need it.
    In 4.3, there's a second possible spec that has some use, the Totemic Focus spec. That would look more like This (click). This improves Fire Elemental uptime, but you lose Ancestral Swiftness and some personal DPS in Improved Shields. This is a competitive spec, but has limitations based on fight time and Fire Elemental uptime that MUST be taken into account. If you're not sure it would be a boost, stick with the standard spec above; the possible gain is relatively small under the best of conditions.


    Elemental Tree

    <Suggested> Straight Crit increase, and Crit is good.
    <Not Useful> Mana is not an issue in Cataclysm, as our rotation is mana-positive and we do not even need the mana regeneration tools we have.
    < Required > Straight damage boost, required.
    < Required > You need this for the damage boosts to Fire Totems and your main nuke
    < Optional > Survivability tool. This is "always-on", but only affects Magical damage, however that's most raid damage anyway.
    <Suggested> This is a relatively small DPS jump, but it does boost DPS. If you had to sacrifice a DPS talent for greater survivability for Heroic mode progression, this would be a candidate, otherwise it's mandatory.
    < Required > Most of your gear, including tier, has Spirit on it. It's useless unless you have this talent. So, take this talent.
    < Required > This is why Convection has no use any longer. Even at introductory gear levels, the mana regen will be more than you're spending, even (especially) during AoE.
    < Required > The mana reduction isn't really helpful, but it's a prerequisite for Elemental Oath, which is worth it.
    <Suggested> If you don't take this, you need to be within 20 yards of the enemy for Searing Totem to attack. It CAN be dropped if you can arrange that, but for convenience's sake it's usually taken.
    < Required > It's good for you. It's amazing when you add in the raid boost.
    < Required > It will never get dispelled in PvE, but the damage boost is worth it regardless.
    < Required > This is now one of our core nukes. This can't be passed up.
    < Required > One of the best DPS cooldowns in the game, for any class.
    <Situational> Great for PvP. Almost never useful in PvE; in most cases the adds you'd want to use it on are immune to roots anyway.
    <Suggested> +10% spellpower for everyone if you keep any Fire Totem down. This can only be passed on IF that buff is being provided by another raid member. If you're not positive they are, take it anyway just to be sure.
    < Required > It's an amazing cooldown. Now it cools down faster. This is good. It also scales nicely with Haste; more bolts, faster cooldown.
    < Required > This changes your Lava Burst from a simple 8 second cooldown to something that cools down erratically. It requires more attention, but it's also a big DPS boost.
    < Optional > With 4.3, this is worth taking and using any time there's 5+ enemies, as long as they'll be within the AoE for the full duration. Otherwise, on single target fights, this could be skipped. In general, unless you're running with two Elemental specs, you'll want to take this.



    Enhancement Tree

    < Required > Boosts your Flametongue weapon from 5% extra damage to 7%
    <Not Useful> Melee-only. skip.
    <Suggested> Boosts lightning shield, which boosts Fulmination. This is a goodness. And you need 5 points in this tier anyway.
    <Suggested> This would likely be worth it even if the 5 points in Enhancement were wasted. Gets you out of danger faster, gets you back to DPS faster. Ghost Wolf is useable everywhere now, so this talent is pretty much a no-brainer for every Shaman spec.
    < Optional > This is useful primarily for the range extension to Searing Totem, which brings it up to 40 yards like the rest of your spells. In general, you could get by without it, but it's nice utility, and one of the few final options for your talents that actually helps with regards to DPS.



    Restoration Tree

    < Optional > Survivability talent. This isn't up after you cast an instant, but affects all damage taken and is a bit heavier than Elemental Warding
    <Not Useful> Resto-only. Skip.
    < TF Spec > Only useful for a TF spec. Slightly boosts survivability, via healing taken, but reducing incoming damage is better.
    < TF Spec > The core of the Totemic Focus spec. This is taken to boost the Fire Elemental with an extra 48 seconds of uptime per cast.



    Why Earthquake?

    EQ is a strong AoE, whenever there are 5+ targets to hit and they will remain in the same spot for the duration. It can also be pre-cast if you know adds are spawning. It has uses, and thus should be taken in a basic spec. You CAN skip it, but this is only recommended if you're running two Elemental specs and swapping between them based on the fight in question. If you're running Elemental/Resto or Elemental/PvP or something, Earthquake is recommended; there's nowhere else in a standard spec you could get more DPS for the talent point.

    Why Ancestral Swiftness?

    Movement speed is amazing. It gets you out of damaging effects sooner, which means it's a survivability boost. It means you can cast CL/EQ/LvB sooner after movement, which means it's a DPS boost. These are the kinds of effects you won't see in a simulation, but will definitely show up in an actual fight. The movement speed boot enchants are +10%, while the baseline speed here is +15%, so you get the advantage of a better boot enchant and a faster movement speed. That would be enough to justify it. Adding an instant cast time to Ghost Wolf for an on-demand larger speed boost is icing on an already tasty cake.

    Elemental Warding or Ancestral Resolve?

    Like many things, you can make an argument for either on a fight-by-fight bases. Overall, Elemental Warding is more consistent, as the majority of raid damage is Magical and it's always on. Ancestral Resolve is stronger when it's up, since it provides a greater reduction and applies to Physical damage too. Which is better is up to you. If you're taking a Totemic Focus spec, you'll have to end up with Ancestral Resolve, but if you're using the standard spec, either is legitimate.
    Last edited by Endus; 2012-03-06 at 05:57 PM.

  3. #3
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    Stats

    Stats:

    Intellect: Our main source of Spellpower, also boosts mana pool and crit slightly. In general, it's usually close to twice the value of secondary stats.

    Haste: Spells cast faster, GCDs get shorter. More spells = more DPS. Always a good stat, but so is Mastery. Which is better depends on a lot of little factors, and there is no simple one-size-fits-all answer; you'll need to run a sim to make that decision for yourself for certain.

    For Elemental, there are no real Haste "plateaus". There are some spikes in value as your amount of Haste changes, but there's no specific number to aim for like you see get mentioned for Restoration; our main use out of Haste is getting faster spellcasts and faster ticks on Flame Shock, and those are linear values with Haste. The few bumps and dips in value are only relevant when deciding whether Mastery pulls ahead or not, not whether Haste is losing value.

    Mastery: In broad terms, interchangeable with Haste. Our Mastery is excellent and there is no cap in value that's remotely attainable. More lightning bolts and lava bursts is better.

    Hit Rating: Missing is bad. You need 17% spell hit to hit raid bosses, who are level 88. Any more than 17% is wasted. You can now see your exact percentage in the stats pane, as well as how much you need to hit a target of a certain level. There are no raid hit buffs any more, so you need all of this on gear. To hit 17%, you need 1742 hit rating, unless you're a Draenei. In which case you need 1640 hit rating.

    Spirit: Was useless. With Elemental Precision 3/3, this is identical to Hit Rating. This means your Resto gear is also Elemental gear, which is convenient for those who run both specs.

    Critical Strike Rating: It's not awful. But it's generally our least best stat. This is due to Lava Burst being a guaranteed crit if you're doing things right. Crits are really good for us, it just loses out in value because we get some guaranteed regardless of our crit chance.


    General Priority: Int > 17% Hit > Haste = Mastery > Crit

    If you want anything more specific, the only answer is going to be "sim it yourself". Mastery is relatively constant, Haste dips and weaves a bit. Any change in stats will change priority slightly.



    Reforging:

    Reforging has been moved to a new Ethereal near your local Transmog and Void Storage location. Nothing else has changed; you can still use this to move 40% of any one secondary stat (including Spirit) to any other secondary stat that isn't already on the item.

    This is a great tool for getting as close to the hit cap as possible, though it can take some tinkering. You can work it out yourself, or use a web-based tool or addon to work it out for you. If you do use a tool, make sure you know how it works, so you're not just blindly trusting something that could go wrong. I've used askmrrobot.com and the Reforgelite addon, and while I won't actually endorse them, they work fairly well. Ideally, for both, sim your own stat weights and enter them in yourself, don't use the defaults.

    In general, your Reforge priority should be as follows;

    • If you don't have 17% hit, reforge something to Hit Rating or Spirit
    • If you're over 17% hit, reforge some Hit or Spirit to Haste or Mastery
    • If you have any Crit, it should be the first thing you reforge.
    • If you're not reforging to/from Hit Rating, or from Crit, you can stop. Reforging Haste to Mastery or vice versa is usually unnecessary.
    Take note that you CAN reforge a secondary stat on an item with Hit or Spirit to whichever of the two it doesn't have, to stack even more hit rating onto that single piece. A Crit/Spirit ring, for instance, can have the Crit reforged to Hit Rating, if you're under the hit cap.


    Gemming

    There's a very simple rule with gemming.

    Intellect, Intellect, Intellect.

    Your metagem should be a Burning Shadowspirit Diamond. A Chaotic Shadowspirit Diamond is okay, if the Burning ones are too expensive. The requirements for both are "three red gems", and red gems? Are Intellect gems. This is dead easy.

    The rest of your gems should be one of the following;
    Red sockets: Brilliant Inferno Ruby
    Blue sockets: Purified Demonseye
    Yellow sockets: Artful Ember Topaz or Reckless Ember Topaz

    Socket bonuses are tricky. You need to know your relative Haste or Mastery stat weights to make these calls. Any piece of gear with one non-red socket and a +20 Intellect bonus is a gimme; gem for the socket bonus, since +20 Intellect and +20 other stat and +20 socket bonus is always +20 other stat over a Brilliant Inferno Rubyo. Any other socket bonus depends on the relative value of Haste or Mastery; if either is above 50% of the value of Intellect, using a purple or orange is worth it for a +10 Intellect socket bonus (or using two for a +20). If it's below 50%, you're better off sacrificing the socket bonus for a Brilliant Inferno Ruby.

    Do not gem pure Spirit. Intellect is way better than any other stat, and you can gem Intellect. You can Reforge for Spirit/Hit, but you can't Reforge for Intellect. Get the hit cap via reforging and Purified Demonseye in blue slots, gemming Purified in red slots or Sparkling Ocean Sapphire in blue slots is a DPS loss.

    The same applies for epic gems, but on most servers, Queen's Garnet are crazy expensive as of this writing in 4.3.0. You can still work out the relative values and determine which to gem.


    Enchanting

    These are the available enchants by slot, the best on top, with cheaper/weaker alternatives below them. The only reason to use a lesser enchant is financial; you should always be striving to use the enchants on the top of the list. In many cases, the difference is fairly significant, and the lesser enchants are being included mostly for the sake of completeness. I am not including profession-specific enchants; if you have them, use them.

    Head:
    Arcanum of Hyjal +60 Intellect/35 Critical Strike rating. Requires Guardians of Hyjal - Revered.

    Shoulders:
    Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone +50 Intellect/25 Haste rating. Requires Therazane - Exalted.
    Lesser Inscription of Charged Lodestone +30 intellect/20 Haste rating. Requires Therazane - Honored.

    Cloak:
    Greater Intellect +50 Intellect
    Intellect +30 Intellect

    Chest:
    Peerless Stats +20 All Stats
    Mighty Stats +15 All Stats
    Exceptional Spirit +40 Spirit

    Wrist:
    Mighty Intellect +50 Intellect
    Exceptional Spirit/Precision +50 Spirit/Hit respectively
    Greater Speed +65 Haste
    Greater Critical Strike +65 Critical Strike

    Gloves:
    Greater Mastery +65 Mastery Rating
    Haste/Mastery +50 Haste/Mastery respectively

    Legs:
    Powerful Ghostly Spellthread +95 Intellect/+55 Spirit
    Powerful Enchanted Spellthread +95 Intellect/+80 Stamina (mostly PvP oriented)

    Feet:
    Precision +50 Hit Rating
    Haste/Mastery +50 Haste/Mastery, respectively
    The run speed enchants should not be used; they do not stack with Ancestral Swiftness, which you should be taking.

    Off-hand/Shield:
    Superior Intellect +40 Intellect

    Weapon:
    Power Torrent +500 Int/12s proc
    Hurricane +450 Haste/12s proc
    Avalanche Nature damage on spell strike

    Kudos to Rulerdragon for doing a lot of the grunt work on the Enchanting section.
    Last edited by Endus; 2012-01-15 at 02:35 AM.

  4. #4
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    Glyphs

    Glyphs:

    There's three categories of glyphs; Prime, Major, and Minor. Prime are usually straight-up DPS increases, and there's usually fairly minimal choice there. Majors are situational, and quite often you'll find yourself swapping a few of them in or out on a fight by fight basis. Minors tend to be, well, minor, and ours are especially useless for any practical purpose.

    Prime:

    Fire Elemental: Since we're using Fire totems for DPS, this is a legitimate consideration, since Fire Elemental is more damage than Searing Totem would be. However, it is most useful for fights that last ~7 minutes in length, so you can get two full summons in. If the fight is 5 minutes or less, this isn't a DPS increase. This also has value for progression fights where you expect to wipe over and over; the 10 minute CD will mean it's only up every second attempt, but halving that CD means you'll have the FE up every time.

    Flame Shock: This never worse than your third-best glyph. It doesn't directly add damage, but any GCD spent not refreshing Flame Shock is a GCD you're casting something for damage. Pretty much every Elemental PvE build will use this glyph.

    Flametongue Weapon: This isn't bad, we just have many better options.

    Lava Burst: One of our best spells gets better.

    Lightning Bolt: One of our most-cast spells gets better.

    Shocking: Saves you brief bit of time at the start of a fight currently, assuming you have full stacks going in. Never use this.

    Unleashed Lightning: Cast Lightning Bolt while moving? Oh heck yes. Not only is this a huge convenience, the point where it becomes a DPS advantage is VERY low; not canceling 2 LBs to move in a minute makes this a DPS gain over the LB or LvB glyphs.

    Recommendation: Flame Shock, Unleashed Lightning, and Lava Burst. Glyph of LB does not apparently trigger of Overloads, while Glyph of LvB does, meaning it pulls ahead. This is likely a glitch, but it's been around for long enough that it's shaping our choices, and it's unlikely to get changed before MoP.

    A Totemic Focus build will usually want Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem, for fairly obvious reasons. Other than that, same priority; FS and UL, unless it's a fairly immobile fight.


    Major:

    Chain Lightning: This is now the centerpiece of our AoE. This glyph is one you'll want to switch in and out fairly often, to optimize DPS; since it lowers initial damage, it's a DPS loss on 2-3 targets, and roughly equal on 4, but a clear gain at 5 targets. In general, if you'll have 5+ target AoE, glyph this. If it's 2-3 target cleave, don't.

    Elemental Mastery: Your big DPS cooldown is now also a survivability cooldown. 95% of the time, you'll be hitting this on CD for DPS, so unless you're looking to passively help healers, this glyph is of minimal use outside of PvP.

    Fire Nova: We don't use Fire Nova in our AoE any longer. Skip this.

    Lightning Shield: Even if raid bosses don't target you, AoE can trigger this. This glyph means you never need to recast this, unless you take a 10 minute break or die. It also prevents dropping from 3 stacks to 2, which is a minor DPS loss.

    Ghost Wolf: Even more run speed on your run speed boost. Less time running = more time pewpewing. In general, not needed, but can be useful for certain situations (kiting the flame breath on Atramedes springs to mind).

    Healing Stream Totem: If you're dropping Healing Stream, it can be useful. No help to DPS, though. A resto shaman will usually glyph this, but check to be sure if you've got a Resto in your raid; better to glyph this than go without the resists, in most fights.

    Thunder: Mostly you'd take this for the mana regen, rather than an AoE you need to be in melee range to use and which requires the spawn to still be up for 30s to get off twice.

    Stoneclaw Totem: Provides a shield effect to the totem on yourself, for ~16500 damage. Useful for PvP, and can make an effective tool in PvE for survivability without any real consequences, since we don't need Earth totems much for our DPS.

    Recommendation: The two major recommendations are Lightning Shield, to prevent losing charges to AoE, and Chain Lightning, to maximize your AoE. I recommend Stoneclaw for the third, as it's the best we can do for a survivability CD right now. In practice, these should be swapped around depending on the fight rather than relying on one specific layout for all fights.


    Minor:

    Thunderstorm: Good for mana regen. You probably don't want the knockback, but you don't usually want to use this for DPS anyway.

    None of the other minors have any real impact on PVE at all.
    Last edited by Endus; 2012-05-01 at 03:52 AM.

  5. #5
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    Priority Queue

    Our basic DPS system is, like most classes these days, a priority system. You want to use the most valuable spells as soon as possible, prioritizing them over other options. This is NOT a "rotation", there is no hard and fast pattern, and in actual gameplay you'll often find yourself inserting other spells, like Wind Shear for interrupts, or having to hit instants while moving.

    The basic priority is as follows;
    • Keep Searing Totem/Fire Elemental Totem up; fire totems give 10% spellpower to the raid.
    • Keep Flame Shock up.
    • Lava Burst whenever it's off cooldown. Watch for Lava Surge procs.
    • Earth Shock to proc Fulmination if you're at 7+ stacks, or if you're moving and need an instant to fill a gap.
    • Lightning Bolt as filler.
    Or in point form;

    ST > FS > LvB > ES if LS is at 7+ stacks > LB

    Stick Elemental Mastery in whenever it's off cooldown and you'll be able to spend the next 15 seconds pew-pewing. If you're going to have to run in 5 seconds, better to save it and pop it when you stop.


    That's the basics. It isn't a full explanation and following that religiously will NOT result in you performing as well as you could, but it's a starting point. The full priority looks more like the following;
    • Fire Elemental Totem IF you have Spellpower procs AND it can remain on the boss for 2 minutes
    • Elemental Mastery
    • Fire Elemental Totem IF it can stay on the boss long enough to outdo Searing Totem AND there will be no longer period where it can get greater uptime
    • Searing Totem
    • Flame Shock IF its debuff is under 3 seconds OR isn't on the target
    • Lava Burst IF FS debuff is on the target
    • Earth Shock IF Lightning Shield is at 9 stacks
    • Earth Shock IF LS is at 8 or 9 stacks AND FS debuff won't fall off
    • Earth Shock IF LS is at 7 stacks AND FS debuff is about to fall off (~5-7 seconds remaining)
    • Lightning Bolt, which can now be cast while moving when glyphed, which leaves no place for Unleash Elements in our normal rotation
    Note that this priority assumes that you're also keeping LS, Flametongue Weapon, and totems up, which is why they aren't included. It also doesn't include controllable procs, or any kind of timing choices on EM, or interrupting, etc. Nor does it include Spiritwalker's Grace, which should be popped whenever you have at least 10 seconds of constant movement, and basically makes you "not moving" for the duration despite your movement. I am quite possibly missing a few IF or AND clauses in here somewhere.

    In practice, if you're trying to optimize, you can't be reactionary with this. You NEED to be thinking 6-8 seconds ahead at all times; what is the boss about to do? What are my CDs going to do? What will be coming up when? You need to be as proactive as possible and KNOW when movement is coming, and adjust your play accordingly when it does.

    Note that Earth Shock has two entries; one for 8-9 stacks, and another for 7. In general, you want to try and get Earth Shock off only if you have 8-9 stacks, but if you hit 7 stacks when your Flame Shock debuff is close to falling off, discharging them at 7 stacks is better than waiting to refresh Flame Shock and having it stack to 9 and lose charges before it becomes available again. This is a slight change from earlier priority recommendations. The general idea is you want to use Earth Shock with as many charges as you can, but using it with fewer than 7 charges means the damage is less than Lightning Bolt, modified for cast time, and you also don't want to use a shock cooldown to refresh Flame Shock when you're already sitting at 9 charges, since additional procs are lost DPS.



    Complicating Factors:

    You didn't think it was that easy, did you? Well, maybe you did, but unfortunately, it's not. There's a few factors a basic priority system doesn't cover.

    Shock Cooldowns
    Your Flame and Earth Shocks share a 6 second (5 with 2/2 Reverberation) cooldown. This means you need to be aware of how much time you have left on your Flame Shock DoT, before you use Earth Shock for a Fulmination. While also ensuring you use Earth Shock often enough to avoid having it hit and stay at 9 stacks, and wasting Rolling Thunder charges. It will still happen occasionally, but you need to be proactive and thinking a few seconds ahead to minimize it. Basically, you never want to Earth Shock if it will cause your Flame Shock DoT to fall off. Learning how to manage this is something that just takes practice, getting a feel for it. Your best bet is to get an addon that lets you track your DoT timers effectively, and make sure the cooldown from your Earth Shock is less than the time remaining on Flame Shock.

    Flame Shock clipping
    It used to be that clipping the last bit of a DoT would "clip" the last tick, losing you DPS. This was changed a while ago so that if you refresh the DoT between the second to last and the last tick, it will add the full duration to the existing duration. In practice, what this means for us is that you want to cast your Flame Shock with about 1-2 seconds left on the DoT. This will ensure you don't lose any ticks, but also ensures the DoT never falls off. Haste interacts interestingly with this, since it makes the DoT tick faster, until it can add another full tick. Flame Shock starts at ~3 seconds between ticks, and they get closer together as you get more haste, so the window in which you can refresh it without clipping a tick will narrow as gear improves.

    Fire Totems
    For the most part, you will be dropping Searing Totem. However, during boss fights, Fire Elemental Totem is a DPS improvement, IF the elemental can reach the boss for his entire 2 minute duration. For bosses with air phases like Atramedes, this is a factor to consider on the timing. The elemental also does AoE, which can be a reason to save him for certain phases, like the final 25% on Cho'gall. In general, though, you want to pop the Fire Elemental early, when your procs and such are up, since he takes a snapshot of your spellpower and his damage is based off that for his entire 2 minute duration.

    Also, the Searing Totem AI is a little buggy. It won't attack a target if it was dropped outside of combat, and sometimes has issues picking up a target without it being Flame Shocked. In general, you will need to Flame Shock a boss while running in and THEN drop Searing Totem. You can drop one before the fight for the 10% spellpower, but make sure you mana back up before you engage. Also, on target switches, it will tend to not swap targets until the Flame Shock expires on the existing one, and sometimes not even then. You can pre-emptively drop Searing after the Flame Shock is gone to ensure it retargets properly. This is usually not an issue, but Omnitron Security Council is a fight where this behaviour CAN wipe your raid, as Searing will happily continue to shoot its target despite it shielding up, triggering the shield.

    Flametongue Totem is generally useless, since the 6% spellpower buff is overwritten by the 10% spellpower Totemic Wrath buff from any Fire totem, but you can use it on Omnitron during shifts to maintain the bonus without your totem triggering shields.

    AoE DPS in 4.3

    In 4.3, our AoE is being re-tuned to focus on Earthquake and Chain Lightning. EQ is getting buffed to be worth the cast time, and CL will have no CD. We can supplement these two with a Magma Totem if desired, and you can get in close; we don't gain any special benefit from Searing Totem, though if your Fire Elemental is up, you probably want to keep him up.

    If there's 5 or more targets, EQ, (optional MT if you're in melee already), CL spam, refresh as needed.

    If there's 2-5, CL spam, weave in Fulminations as numbers drop.

    This is much less complicated than it has been in the past, and pushes pretty considerable DPS.
    Last edited by Endus; 2012-06-04 at 08:32 PM.

  6. #6
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    Gameplay Issues/Questions

    Mana Management

    Mana is generally not a problem. If you're having trouble, there's likely something else wrong that's causing the issue. Make sure your Lightning Shield is active, for instance.

    We have a lot of mana regeneration systems that we honestly don't need, so if you die and ankh and need to get mana back, the following can occasionally be handy;
    • Convection reduces our mana costs
    • Elemental Focus procs Clearcasting, though you take it for other reasons too.
    • Thunderstorm can be glyphed to a 30s cooldown and 4% mana return
    • Potions. Don't forget that these exist.
    In practice, you shouldn't need to spec into Convection if your ilvl is higher than about 340 or so, and unglyphed Thunderstorm usage is plenty for if you need some mana quick. Everything else is superfluous 99% of the time.


    Why not wait till Fulmination stacks to 9?


    Each charge of Lightning Shield is a linear increase to Fulmination's damage, so there's no point in "saving" charges for a bigger Fulmination. The bigger risk is losing charges entirely because you've just had to refresh Flame Shock and you're continuing to generate charges while you're already at 9 stacks. To prevent this, we try and discharge Fulmination as early as 7 stacks. 6 or fewer, and it does less damage for the cast time than a lightning bolt would have, once you wrap in the Overload chance, meaning you should have just used Lightning Bolt. This does not mean you should be religiously firing at 7 stacks, but you shouldn't be using it if it's any lower.


    How should I use my cooldowns?

    The best way to manage these is to understand exactly how they work. In most cases, stat boosts will "feed" on each other; using an Intellect boost at the same time as a Haste boost means you can fit more Intellect-boosted spells into the same time frame. However, with haste buffs specifically, this gets more complicated, because Haste has certain plateaus. Hitting these plateaus is often NOT desirable, since you're getting less benefit out of the haste. The first of these is when you get your instants, 1.5 second casts, and global cooldown down to 1 second, from 1.5. You can't get any lower than this, so any further haste won't be affecting those spells any more. The next is when you get your Lightning Bolt cast time down to 1 second, where it again can't go any lower. It's highly unlikely that we'll ever hit the latter point outside of Heroism/Bloodlust.

    The first mark is hit at 50% haste, the second at 100%.

    Now, consider that Bloodlust/Heroism is a 30% haste buff. And Elemental Mastery is a 20% haste buff. That's 50% (slightly more, actually, since they're multiplicative, not additive). Which means, if you have any haste at all on your gear, or the 5% haste buff from Wrath of Air (or elsewhere), or anything else boosting your haste, it's less effective, since you're past 50%. It's not BAD, it's still a big DPS increase, but it's less effective than it could have been.

    However, the +20% damage boost is more effective under Bloodlust/Heroism, since that additional haste isn't past the 100% cap. So, in short, unless BL/Hero is pushing you over 100% spell haste, stacking it and Elemental Mastery is fine, and often preferred, especially for burn phases where a specific target needs to die ASAP.


    Another factor to consider is proc buffs. These generally pop up in the first few seconds of a fight, meaning popping either EM or Bloodlust/Heroism in the first few seconds is generally a good idea; EM gets you with all your procs up, BL/Hero gets the entire raid with theirs, as well as yours. You don't want to hit it immediately, you want to give people a few seconds to get debuffs up, but in the first few seconds. Make sure you arrange this with your raid, however, so that they know to pop pots and such for the initial burn. Obviously, do NOT do this for fights with burn phases, such as Maloriak or Cho'gall, since you need BL/Hero for those. But you can and should be proactively using EM for your own benefit in those cases.


    Why not use Unleash Elements before Flame Shock/Lava Burst?

    With the new Unleashed Lightning glyph in 4.2, there's little need for Unleash Elements in most situations for Elemental. The increase to a subsequent Lava Burst or Flame Shock is less than a Lightning Bolt would have been, once you normalize for the cast time, meaning it's technically ON the priority list, but lower than LB, which is basically always available, and thus you never get as low as UE.

    There are occasionally uses, however; if you need burst on a specific phase, like on Spine of Deathwing, you can use UE as the plate is falling off to get a bit more DPS on the Burning Tendon, and there's nothing to really DPS at that point under most circumstances. On Ultraxion, if a shock isn't available right before you use Heroic Will, you can use this and immediately enter the normal realm. Again, these are cases where you're either pre-loading DPS because there's no current target, or where you can only cast an instant for some reason and a shock isn't available. In practice, these don't come up very often.

    Why does everyone get me to interrupt? It kills my DPS.

    Because you are the second best interrupter in the game. The only one better is an Enhancement shaman with Reverberation 2/2, and most PvE Enhancement don't want to take that. Wind Shear is off the GCD, which means you only lose DPS if you interrupt a cast (which you should, generally speaking). Talented, it's got a 5 second cooldown. While you may be seeing a personal DPS loss, any good guild will know why that is, and that other DPS are seeing a DPS gain for not having to interrupt constantly. With a 5 second interrupt, you can make some mechanics MUCH easier to handle, solo-interrupting a mechanic that normally takes two DPS working in tandem to handle. You'll lose personal DPS, but your other raid DPS will more than pick up the slack.


    Why is Searing Totem/Fire Elemental so dumb?

    Searing Totem's AI is relatively simple;
    • If you're not in combat, deactivate until refreshed. This is to prevent it aggroing bosses that have debuff auras.
    • If you're in combat, check for a target with your Flame Shock or Stormstrike Debuff.
    • If no such target found, target nearest in-combat creature and commence firing. Keep checking.
    • When target is found, shoot it.
    • When target dies, repeat check for new target.
    Fire Elemental Totem is a bit wonkier, since the Elemental is technically the guardian's totem. This means it won't check for Flame Shock or Stormstrike, because it's checking for its owner's, the totem's, debuffs. So it skips that second step, and just attacks based on whether it's aggroed and proximity. It CAN be rendered inactive mid-combat if its target despawns (rather than dies; Ragnaros phase changes for instance) or has some other pathing issue. In these cases, it will typically not be able to aggro back on to the original target, but will aggro and attack other targets just fine. There's currently no solution but re-dropping the totem, which isn't an option in outside of 4.2 and with the Tier 12 2-piece bonus (in 4.3, that bonus won't be effective enough to allow replacing an existing Elemental)

    As for why this can't be "fixed"; they can't add a pet bar because Enhancement's feral spirits have a pet bar. The Assist AI might not work well with a guardian-of-a-guardian. We don't really have full technical info, but it's not a simple fix like some people suggest. Best we can likely hope for is an overhaul in Pandaria.
    Last edited by Endus; 2012-01-24 at 02:53 AM.

  7. #7
    Moderator Endus's Avatar
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    Totems

    Totems:

    These are less unique than they have ever been. Your main thought should be to provide the buffs nobody else is providing; the strength in Totems is now not that they have unique buffs, but that you can fill a lot of missing buffs depending on raid composition.

    Here's the buffs each totem won't stack with. Use another totem if someone can provide these buffs, since their buffs likely affect the raid regardless of range, unlike totems, which are 40 yards radius around the totem.

    Earth:
    Stoneskin: Devotion Aura (Paladin)
    Strength of Earth: Battle Shout (Warrior), Horn of Winter (Death Knight), Roar of Courage (Hunter w/ cat/spirit beast)
    Tremor Totem: This doesn't share any buffs, and the new 4.0.6 iteration is a short-term rapid-pulsing fear break for 6 seconds, with a 1 minute CD. Great with bosses that fear, but bear in mind the new CD, and that it's on-use, not set-and-forget. If the enemy fears are more than a minute apart, this is actually a buff. If not, they're likely not deadly anyway.

    Fire:
    The 10% spellpower from Totemic Wrath is comparable to Demonic Pact from Warlocks. Use Searing Totem/Fire Elemental for DPS regardless.

    Magma Totem has occasional use for AoE, if you don't need to run in to drop it. Flametongue totem is 100% entirely useless to us; the 6% spellpower buff is overwritten by the 10% Totemic wrath spellpower buff, so Flametongue is only useful if you don't want your Fire totem to provide you extra DPS. Which should be almost never, though there's occasional uses (like shifting targets on Omnitron so Searing doesn't shoot the shield)

    Water:
    Mana Spring: Blessing of Might (Paladin)
    Totem of the Tranquil Mind: Concentration Aura (Paladin)
    Healing Stream Totem: Stacks with all other Healing Streams. If you don't need the above, drop this.

    Wind:
    Windfury: Improved Icy Talons (Death Knight), Hunting Party (Hunter) This does nothing for you, but if there's more melee than ranged, drop this anyway for a bigger raid DPS boost.
    Wrath of Air: Mind Quickening (Shadow Priest), Moonkin Aura (Druid)


    In general, pick the totems that provide buffs that nobody else in the raid provides.


    Professions:

    Professions are relatively simple nowadays; there was a good effort by Blizzard to have every crafting profession be basically equal in value. You can essentially take any two crafting professions you like, picking based on the secondary benefits rather than the straight stat bonuses, which will be a wash compared to any other. Gathering professions, however, are still sub-par for raiding purposes; their stat bonuses are much more limited and thus you should try to not use them if you're optimizing your performance.

    The numbers below assume Intellect where there's a possibility for other choices, since that's our best stat, and the numbers are based on what is easily available for each profession;


    Alchemy: +80 Intellect, from flasks, through Mixology.
    Blacksmithing: 2 gem slots which works out to +80 Stat.
    Enchanting: 2 ring enchants for +80 Intellect
    Engineering: Synapse Springs alone work out to an average of +80 Intellect, 450/10s every 60s.
    Inscription: +80 Intellect for shoulder enchants
    Jewelcrafting: +81 Intellect from 3 Intellect gems
    Leatherworking: +80 Intellect over regular wrist enchant
    Tailoring: 580 Int/15s every 60s replaces regular cloak enchant

    Herbalism: +80 Haste (480/20s every 2 min) plus a small heal
    Mining: +120 Stamina
    Skinning: +80 Crit rating

    In 4.3, the numbers for Blacksmithing and Jewelcrafting have adjusted slightly, with the introduction of epic gems. If you can gem Brilliant Queen's Garnets in every single slot, Blacksmithing is the best profession; the two bonus sockets are now worth +100 Intellect. Jewelcrafting is now the worst crafting profession; as of this writing Brilliant Chimeras are still +67 Intellect, meaning they're only a +17 advantage over Brilliant Queen's Garnets, making Jewelcrafting only worth +51 Intellect, again if you're entirely gemmed in Queen's Garnets.

    If any of your gems are Brilliant Inferno Rubies, then Jewelcrafting is still replacing a Brilliant Inferno and retains value. Similarly, Blacksmithing sockets aren't truly gaining the extra value of the Queen's Garnets if you've still got Brilliant Infernos in your gear, since you could have replaced those Brilliant Infernos with the Queen's Garnets instead. The adjustments to these two ONLY apply if you're FULLY gemmed with epic gems.


    Tailoring is a bit odd at first glance; the proc seems unusually good compared to other professions. However, on further inspection, it's pretty much in line with them. The proc is on a ~60 second internal cooldown, and has a high chance to proc after that point, but still a chance to proc. Under ideal conditions, that would work out to ~145 Intellect, but in practice, the proc chance reduces that slightly, bringing it pretty close to the 130 Intellect mark, on average. Since this replaces your +50 cloak enchant, that amounts to roughly a +80 advantage over the default, which is the same as every other profession.

    Really, at this point, you can pick any profession. The secondary factors are a bigger impact than the main stat boosts. The only slight Elemental-specific caveat is that since Fire Elemental likes Intellect procs, Tailoring and Engineering are ever so slightly better than for most specs. If you can time the Fire Elemental to take advantage of either of their procs, or both, you get much more bang for your profession buck.
    Last edited by Endus; 2012-01-24 at 03:04 AM.

  8. #8
    Moderator Endus's Avatar
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    Sims and Logs 101

    Simulationcraft 101


    Simulationcraft is a character simulator, and one of the more popular theorycrafting tools available. There are other sims out there, but most (like Enhsim) are much more limited for various reasons. The way it works is that it takes in all your stats, and runs a simulation of combat, to give you an idea of how your DPS could turn out. The default settings are for what is called a "Patchwerk" fight, referring to the Naxxramas boss that was a simple tank-and-spank with no boss abilities DPS needed to avoid. The sim also plays perfectly, never using the wrong ability or missing a CD, so the numbers it provides should be seen as targets to strive for, not attainable goals. It's still useful, since you can test different gear sets and talent specs and priority queues to see which results in the most DPS; this is where a lot of the advice provided earlier in this FAQ was tested and verified.

    It's an incredibly complex and powerful tool, and it can be intimidating to a new user. This guide is intended to give a new user a good idea how to get started, sim their own DPS, and get some stat weights for gear and reforge comparisons. There will be a LOT not covered here, though I intend to write a more thorough and general FAQ on simulationcraft at a later date, that I'll link in here when I do.


    Basic Setup

    1) First, download simulationcraft. There's no online version. It's also updated regularly and does not update automatically, so you should check for a new version every week or two. Unzip the folder and save it somewhere; I usually leave it on my desktop. Open the folder, run the excecutable named "SimulationCraft".

    2) This will bring you to the welcome page. The next tab over is "Options", and that's where we're going next. Click that tab.

    3) Set "Iterations" to at least 10,000, and "threads" to however many CPU cores you have on your computer. Iterations is how many times it simulates combat; more makes the stats more accurate, but takes longer to run. "Threads" is how many separate instances of the simulation run at the same time; more threads mean it finishes faster, but how many your computer can handle is limited by the number of processor cores you have. If you don't know how many cores you have, just leave "Threads" at 1.

    4) Check the "Scaling", "Plots", and "Reforge Plots" tabs within the "Options" tab, and check the items you wish to generate. Each takes more time to produce, and on slower machines and higher iterations can significantly extend the time it takes to get the results. More on what each of these does in the next section.

    5) Click the "Import" tab at the top. Here, you've got four options; importing your character from your Armory, importing a custom-made character from either the online Chardev tool or from Rawr, or using the built-in best in slot profiles. Each has uses; if you want to test your own performance, your Armory is your best choice. If you're doing endgame class balance comparisons, BiS is usually your tool of choice. If you want to test new gear options, Rawr and Chardev both are good tools, which you prefer is up to you. Import a profile by one of those means, the button is on the bottom right. Wait till the load bar hits 100% before clicking if using the Armory, Chardev, or Rawr.

    6) The "Import" button changes to a "Simulate" button. Hit that now. Now, either twiddle your thumbs for a second, go grab a coffee, and wait for it to finish. If it's taking forever, you can either use fewer iterations, or fewer additional options under "scaling", "plots", or "reforge plots". 5 minute turnarounds are normal, 40 minutes isn't unheard of, this isn't an instant gratification tool.

    7) Once it's done, you'll get a Results page will more information on the results than you can shake a stick at. Most of it is heavy statistical data, and more than a little intimidating if you don't know what you're looking at, but pretty much anything you could want to figure out will be in there somewhere.


    Getting Results

    Okay, so how do we get results we can make sense of? Well, if you want to know what your DPS could be in your gear, the default results page gives you a target (but again, bear in mind this is with no movement or survivability GCDs, and no mistakes). If you want to know stat weights or how to Reforge or the like, that's where the additional settings come in. Again, you'll want to be running at least 10,000 iterations to get useful numbers out of this; any lower and the effect of random variation can outweigh the actual factors you're looking for. More iterations make the numbers more reliable; flipping a coin 10,000 times will tend to give you something close to 5,000 heads and 5,000 tails, while flipping it 5 times could easily give you 4 of either.

    Scaling options analyze the DPS change from adding 300 of a given stat. This is the easiest way to generate stat weights, but the 300 it adds is high enough that it can push you over a breakpoint in value, which biases the results a bit. These should be taken with a grain of salt, but they're fairly accurate. I recommend analyzing all stats if you're going to run any. Also, keep in mind that to measure Hit's value, the sim actually deducts 300 Hit Rating, since adding 300 to an already-capped profile would obviously generate a value of 0. The section you're looking for in the results page that this provides looks like this;



    "Scale Factors" is how much DPS you gain per point of that stat. In the above, you can see that Mastery is slightly ahead of Haste. it's providing 2.85 while Haste is providing 2.66.
    "Normalized" takes the value for Intellect, and adjusts that to 1.000, and then adjusts all the others by the same factor, so they're normalized to Intellect. This is especially useful for determining whether gem sockets are worth using a non-red to get the socket bonus. Using the above numbers, an orange socket with a +10 socket bonus would be worth using either a Reckless or Ember Topaz; a Brilliant Inferno is +40 Intellect, and a Reckless would be 20 Intellect, plus the 10 intellect socket bonus, plus 20 Haste. Since Haste's value is 0.55 the value of Intellect, that means the 20 Haste is worth ~ 11 Intellect, meaning the Reckless works out to 41 Intellect in value, higher than the Brilliant Inferno without the socket bonus.
    "Scale Deltas" is how much it changed that stat by to determine the numbers, not something to worry over
    "Error" is a statistical measure for how much variation the numbers statistically have. This gets lower with more iterations, but unless you like math, you can ignore this as long as you're over 10k iterations.


    Plots

    These are like Scaling, but they do the same thing in 20-point increments and graph the results. This lets you see if there's a big spike or dropoff in value nearby, which can be useful, but they're just changing the one stat they're graphing. For Reforging in particular, Reforge plots (up next) do a better job of showing what happens when you gain one stat AND lose another, but basic plots are still useful for checking to general layout of a stat. They look like so;



    I've plotted Crit and Mastery, since they're fairly different scaling-wise, and Hit, so you can see how the graph changes when it hits 17% and flatlines.


    Reforge Plots

    These are like plots but specifically for Reforging; they take several stats and show how your DPS changes as you reforge from one to the other. Unlike straight plots, these include the loss to the first stat as well as adding to the second. These look like so;



    These give a more precise view of exactly where Reforging breakpoints will be.


    The above graphs were done under a variety of different versions, so if yours don't look PRECISELY the same, don't freak out.

    That should give pretty much anyone the information they need to get some basic information out of simulationcraft. It's an immensely powerful tool, used properly. Want to know if trinket X is better than your current trinket? Register a Chardev account (it's free) or use Rawr, import your armory, swap the trinket (and reforge if necessary, as you would if you changed gear), and then run sims on your straight armory and the adjusted version. You'll be able to see which performs better pretty easily. Gear is even easier; using scaling numbers, it's just a question of multiplying the stats by the scale factors (normalized or not, as long as you're consistent), and comparing which has the higher result. You can also tweak priority queues and play some other more complicated games, but those are more advanced topics, and the simulationcraft wiki has everything you'd need to know for that; this mini-FAQ is just meant to boil the basics down for a new user.


    I've been working with simulationcraft for years now, so if I've overlooked something you still find confusing, because I just do it automatically, just send me a PM and I'll see about updating this here.


    World of Logs for Elemental Shaman

    This will be a relatively short section, just to describe the basic measures theorycrafters use to examine logs, specifically for Elemental's gameplay factors. If your guild is uploading logs, this should let you look at those logs and determine where you could tighten up your gameplay. Some caveats before we start;

    • These guidelines are given outside of boss mechanics. Boss mechanics can and will throw some or all of these measures off to varying degrees. When in doubt, use the simplest boss fights; Ultraxion is a good example in Dragon Soul, though you still need to be aware that Fading Light can cause some hiccups
    • These are guidelines, not rules. Since random variance is always a factor in any specific anecdotal log, it's quite possible you were simply unlucky, not playing badly. Determining whether that is the case isn't necessarily simple, and lies outside of this FAQ's purview.

    Okay, the nitty gritty;

    1. Totemic Wrath uptime, under "buffs". This should be 100%. 99.8% is okay. 99% is almost always not. Anything lower is very much not good. The only exception here is if you've got a Demo Lock in the raid, and he's providing Demonic Pact, since they overwrite each other. In which case, look at the combination of "Searing Totem" and "Greater Fire Elemental" uptimes; those should be 100% or very close to.
    2. Flame Shock uptime. Same as above; 100% or as close as you can manage. Anything under 100% is not good.
    3. Lava Bursts. It has an 8s cooldown, and a 1.5s base cast time. So 9.5 seconds between LvBs, without Lava Surge taken into account. Take the fight time in seconds, divide by 9.5, if you did fewer LvBs than this, you absolutely were missing procs and CDs. Also, none of these should be regular hits; any non-crits means Flame Shock wasn't on the target.
    4. Fulminations. Look at Buffs, click on "rolling thunder", look at the number of times you gained the effect. Each mana gain is also a lightning shield charge, unless you're capped, so divide this number by 6 and compare to your number of Fulminations cast. It should be close; if you got significantly more Rolling Thunders, you weren't managing shock cooldowns appropriately.
    5. Fire Elemental Totem. This should have withing a second of 2 minutes of uptime, minimum. If you've glyphed FET, then more if the fight is longer than 5 minutes. If you're in a Totemic Focus spec, 2m40s instead. The DPS it does can also be checked to ensure it was stacked with Intellect procs.
    Last edited by Endus; 2012-01-26 at 06:47 PM.

  9. #9
    Moderator Endus's Avatar
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    Useful Addons

    Useful Addons:

    This list is by no means comprehensive. These are mostly addons I use or have used, though I do use plenty of addons I don't list, I'm only using this to suggest addons that are immediately useful to raiding Elemental shaman for some reason. I intend to add some alternatives to each at a later date. These are not so much recommendations as highlights; I tend to pick addons based on customizability and a small (or at least controllable) screen real estate. By no means take my selections as gospel.

    WeakAuras

    This is an incredibly powerful and flexible tool for creating your own auras. "Auras", in this case, mean pretty darn close to any kind of icon, progress bar, or other form of animated display, to track pretty much any in-game effect you could want. There's a bit of a learning curve to any of these if you want to build your own setup, but it's a worthwhile curve to follow. If you'd rather take a shortcut, there are a few pre-made aura sets available out there, for various purposes, using different tools; some are based on similar platforms as WeakAuras (PowerAuras Classic is the most common alternative), some are homemade (for instance, the famous "boss mods" like DBM and Bigwigs). You can simulate any of those via WeakAuras if you wanted to invest the time and effort to do so; it's that powerful.

    My own personal WeakAuras setup is here; Link to main thread. It is by no means the "best" or the only one available, but I like it.

    Alternatives: PowerAuras Classic, Event Horizon, ForteXorcist


    Vuhdo

    Vuhdo is a unit frames addon. I've been a fan of Grid for ages, but Vuhdo has won me over. These aren't as flashy as something like xPerl, but their intent is to squeeze a ridiculous amount of data into a small form factor. My entire raid frames take up slightly more screen room than the default minimap does, for a 25-man raid. I went with Vuhdo over Grid solely because Vuhdo will show the tooltip of a debuff on the unit it affects, whereas Grid only shows a marker showing the debuff type. For certain fights, telling the difference between two magic debuffs at a glance can be very useful. Vuhdo has tons of options, and will take you a while to get comfortable with, but IMO, it's worth the investment.
    Alternatives: Grid, X-perl Unit Frames


    Clique

    Clique is amazing. It's an addon that lets you bind mouse clicks on unit frames. That doesn't sound like much, but you can modify the clicks with the modifier keys (Alt/Ctrl/Shift). That probably still doesn't sound impressive.

    It's probably easier to describe how to use it. I can decurse people just by alt-clicking their raid frame. I don't need to target them, I don't need to find out where they're standing. Works the same way for heals, and it also works on target and focus frames. This is more of a convenience for Elementals, but if you ever swap to Restoration, Clique and a decent set of raid frames is amazing. You may have heard people talk about HealBot; that addon is basically Clique's functionality and a built-in set of raid frames. But, Clique and your choice of frames are more customizable, and Clique almost never breaks. It's not a complicated addon, so it's unlikely changes affect it, and the author keeps it maintained, anyway.
    Alternatives: Heal Bot, Decursive


    TotemTimers

    This is your one-stop Totem shop, for addons, and carries a bundle of other miscellaneous goodies for Shaman of all types. To be honest, I myself don't use all the functions it can take care of, I primarily use it for the totem trackers, which are solid and flexible. The default package also includes trackers for Reincarnation/ankhs, shields, and weapon buffs, warning systems for expiring abilities and totems, CD timer packages, and just recently, power aura type displays for Fulmination and Lava Surge that are similar enough to Blizzard's packages for other classes that many shaman (myself included) thought they were default, rather than coming from an addon.

    I have moved away from Totemtimers, but primarily because I like tweaking my UI to make it "just right". This has meant using more addons and spending a great deal more time playing with them. If you want quick and powerful and reliable, Totemtimers is a great choice.
    Alternatives: Coming Soon
    Last edited by Endus; 2012-02-27 at 03:28 AM.

  10. #10
    arcanotron casts less frequently - he can be done by nearly every 8-10sec interrupt class alone.
    same with halfus.

  11. #11
    Nice guide again Endus, alot of research in this thread.

  12. #12
    Moderator Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SyanideLS View Post
    Nice guide again Endus, alot of research in this thread.
    It's basically the same guide, with a few additional bits I've been meaning to add, but set up so you don't need to scroll through the whole damn thing looking for the one bit of info you want.

    When I copy-pasted the original into my word processor, it was sitting at just over 6000 words. Gack.

  13. #13
    Epic! Zaxio's Avatar
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    I want to tank you for this good guide .Its a really nice formed and i learn fast how to play with mine Elemental shaman and to pew pew every uber dps class in heroics
    About the spirit problem i current have 6% hit which is enough for 2 levels above me targets most of those hit is formed by spirit in to mine gear and i dint see a single miss of any spell or totem tick but dunno maybe at boss mobs things are different

  14. #14
    Add the new intelect trinket from alchemy pls, its kinda BiS, much better then Theralions Mirror.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaxio View Post
    I want to tank you for this good guide .Its a really nice formed and i learn fast how to play with mine Elemental shaman and to pew pew every uber dps class in heroics
    About the spirit problem i current have 6% hit which is enough for 2 levels above me targets most of those hit is formed by spirit in to mine gear and i dint see a single miss of any spell or totem tick but dunno maybe at boss mobs things are different
    No, shamans are not meant to tank anything, not even other shamans! SCNR

    I'm also wearing an almost-pure "spirit for hit" gear. Gonna check my logs when i get home, but i'm pretty sure that FE is affected by spirit. Also having a raid coming up this evening, so if something changed with 4.0.6a, it should be in the new logs.

    Also, thanks for the guide! Really like chapter 5 Might want to move the Earth Quake part down there, too - would fit in nicely i think.
    Neke <Resto|Ele> | Enalilia <Holy|Prot> @Blackhand-EU
    Enalilia <Merc> @Exar Kun

  16. #16
    Nice guide overall, good job!

    for the FE issue, I would guess he indeed takes our spirit as hit. However I think he gets very little, if any, of our crit.
    http://worldoflogs.com/reports/rt-8p...20/details/46/ is our log from this wednesday, barely any miss (1) in whole night. However barely any crits, too, the crit chance is way lower than what I have (20,smth%, not including buffs or debuffs increasing crit.)

  17. #17
    Moderator Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by naturestorm View Post
    Add the new intelect trinket from alchemy pls, its kinda BiS, much better then Theralions Mirror.
    No, it's not. It's about equal to Heart of Ignacious, which is significantly worse than even regular Theralion's Mirror, let alone Heroic.

    Quick comparison;
    Vibrant Alchemist's Stone, 351 Intellect (socketed with Brilliant Inferno Ruby), 194 haste.
    Theralion's Mirror, 321 Intellect, 1926 Mastery/20s, 100s CD.

    The proc on Theralion's works out to ~385 Mastery on average.

    Which means you're losing 30 Intellect and gaining ~ 191 Mastery, since Haste and Mastery are roughly equal right now. And while Intellect is better than other stats, it's not about 6 times better than they are. It's roughly twice as valuable. Simming my own gear right now shows Intellect to be just about 2.5 times the value of Mastery, still way below this mark.

    Theralion's Mirror is significantly better than the Vibrant Stone. The Stone suffers because the potion buff is part of its itemization, and doesn't contribute to your DPS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaxio
    About the spirit problem i current have 6% hit which is enough for 2 levels above me targets most of those hit is formed by spirit in to mine gear and i dint see a single miss of any spell or totem tick but dunno maybe at boss mobs things are different
    There's a big jump from heroic 5-mans to raids; bosses jump from level 82 to level 83, and that makes a massive impact on how much extra hit rating you need.
    Last edited by Endus; 2011-02-14 at 02:56 PM.

  18. #18
    Should I reforge my crit /mastery/haste to spirit to reach hit cap and stop gemming 40spirit in blue sockets? I think I am really low on haste only 8% and mastery is like 16,76 rating. In total I have 3, 40 spirit gems in blue sockets and in my engineering head 208hit rating. You check out my character at the European armory , my character name is Frallan and server is Ragnaros EU.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Frallan
    Last edited by frallan123; 2011-02-15 at 12:15 AM.

  19. #19
    High Overlord
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    Quote Originally Posted by frallan123 View Post
    Should I reforge my crit /mastery/haste to spirit to reach hit cap and stop gemming 40spirit in blue sockets? I think I am really low on haste only 8% and mastery is like 16,76 rating. In total I have 3, 40 spirit gems in blue sockets and in my engineering head 208hit rating. You check out my character at the European armory , my character name is Frallan and server is Ragnaros EU.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Frallan
    Yeah, never gem for hit or spirit straight generally. U want to use 3 gems only pretty much which are the +40 int, 20int and 20haste, and 20int and 20 spirit where u can. U can ALWAYS reforge to get spirit/hit so i would replace those gems. Since our stat priority still has haste over mastery i wouldnt reforge haste to spirit, i would reforge mastery to spirit/hit instead. Reforge haste last. But if you change ur gems and reforge that mastery i think you will be fine.

    ps You might want to enchant ur gloves.
    Last edited by jermo22; 2011-02-15 at 12:57 AM.
    If you ever get into an argument and feel that is going south, just say the word "Hodor" in a soft, deep voice, a couple of times.

  20. #20
    Blademaster
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Australia
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endus View Post
    Theralion's Mirror is significantly better than the Vibrant Stone. The Stone suffers because the potion buff is part of its itemization, and doesn't contribute to your DPS.
    This is only partially true. You aren't assessing the potion buff as a DPS increase when comparing it to Theralion's Mirror.

    A 40% bonus to a Volcanic Potion should not be disregarded - The premis being that if you're worried about which trinket will put out most dps, you are probably using Volcanic Potions anyway, and if not should definitely consider it for use in the lust/hero phase of your encounters to squeeze every last bit of DPS out.

    A little bit of napkin math says; 1200 * 1,4 = 1680Int for 25 seconds in a 5 minute fight is (1680 * (25/300) = 140Int) - Unless my math is totally off, that 140Int should make up for that roughly 190 mastery.
    And if like you say Int is ~2.5 times better than Mastery at the moment then that ~190 Mastery only starts being competative with the Volcanic Potion usage on a 9 minute fight, with 190 Mastery being roughly equal to 76 Int (1680 * (25/540) = ~78Int).

    Based on this math and the ability to use it when you need it for maximum effectiveness, I'd say that the Vibrant Stone should definitely be considered as a viable DPS trinket. Even though, yes, it requires a consumable. But like I said, if you're worried about squeezing that DPS out, you're probably using one anyway.

    Disregard. Epic fail x2. It would only be 40 extra int... and it doesn't apply to Volcanic Potion.
    Last edited by Whitlam; 2011-02-15 at 03:08 AM. Reason: Epic fail.


    It's 17%, how you get there is your business.

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