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  1. #1
    Anung un Rama Endus's Avatar
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    Elemental Shaman Guide: 5.4 Edition

    The guide has now been updated for 5.4. There has not been a great deal of change, overall, the biggest changes are to the FET glyph (it's now situational, as it doesn't line up with CDs any more), and talent picks (EotE/UF is the top combination currently).

    Table of Contents

    1. Introduction & Basics Information
      • Playstyle
      • Stats and Gearing
      • Buffs and Debuffs
    2. Spells
      • Primary Spells
      • Secondary Spells
      • Utility Spells
      • Buffs & Passives
    3. Talents
    4. Glyphs
    5. Spell Priority (Rotation)
      • Priority List
      • Movement
      • Area of Effect
      • Cooldown use
      • Advanced Shock Management
    6. Stats
      • Haste Caps & Haste "Targets"
      • Hit Cap
      • Priority
    7. Gearing
      • Gems
      • Enchants
    8. User Interface
      • Addons
      • Configs
      • Macros
    9. Credits, Special Thanks & Copyright Information
    Last edited by Endus; 2013-09-18 at 08:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Anung un Rama Endus's Avatar
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    Introduction and Basics

    This is a PvE guide for Elemental Shaman written collaboratively by Binkenstein, Endus & Gistwiki. Contained within you will find everything you need to know to play Elemental at a competitive level in PvE content.

    Elemental is the ranged caster damage specialisation of Shaman. It relies on a number of cooldown based spells for damage, along with a single dot and a charge/expend ability. It also has a number of damage & utility spells in the form of totems, the signature ability for Shaman. As well, it is the most armoured of caster specs thanks to mail & shields, and can assist with some off-spec heals if necessary (especially with talents). Elemental also has the potential for very high mobility with minimal loss in DPS with certain glyph choices.

    Stats & Gearing
    Elemental focuses on Intellect gear, with any of Crit, Haste, Hit, Mastery or Spirit as secondary stats. A rough stat priority is:
    Intellect > Hit/Spirit to 15% cap > Haste >= Mastery > Crit

    Note: Crit/Haste/Mastery weights & priorities vary depending on glyphs & talents, so it's important to generate your own weights on a regular basis. Any basic suggestion such as this one can very easily be off for your particular circumstances. Some more detail on what circumstances can and will effect this and how will be in the Stats & Gearing sections of the guides.

    Buffs & Debuffs
    Elemental provides three passive raid buffs:

    • Mastery (Grace of Air),
    • 5% Spell Haste (Elemental Oath), and
    • 10% Spell Power (Burning Wrath).

    In addition, Earth Shock applies the Weakened Blows debuff for 30 seconds, reducing the damage the target deals by 10%. The duration is sufficient to essentially guarantee uptime, despite the somewhat random nature of Earth Shock use.

    As well, each Shaman brings Stormlash Totem, a 10s duration Air Totem with a 5 minute cooldown, which adds nature damage to all spells and attacks by party and raid members within 30 yards. This is a strong raid DPS cooldown, though it should be used one after the other if there are multiple Shaman as the effect does not stack.

    • If I take Primal Elementalist when should I use Empower?
      Empower has two functions: give Restoration Shaman something to take Primal Elementalist for, and to give you a damage buff when your Fire Elemental can't hit anything. The only way you'll be able to use Empower all the time is if you can somehow do eight times your average DPS for the entire duration. eg: in T14H gear the Primal Fire Elemental deals about 40,000 dps. You'll need that to be 5% of your output (or 800,000 dps) for Empower to be useful all the time.
    • Why is Elemental Blast behind Lava Burst in the rotation?
      Elemental Blast deals less damage for it's cast time thank Lava Burst, and the buff isn't enough to make up the difference. Rotation priorities are almost always in order of Damage Per Cast Time (DPCT).
    • Why is <item with crit rating> better than <item without crit rating>?
      There's a few reasons.
      • Critical strike rating is not as bad as it was in Cataclysm, oftebeing within 5% of the value of Mastery.
      • Gear with a higher item level will often be worth more, irrelevant of the stats on it (eg: comparing 509 items with 502 items)
      • Once you have reached the Hit cap, additional Hit/Spirit isn't useful. This can swing things in favour of Crit items without Hit/Spirit, when considering the first point about stat weights
    • Should I use a stopcasting macro to cancel Lightning Bolt & cast Lava Burst when I get a Surge proc?
      Short Answer: No, remember your ABC's of Casting (Always Be Casting)
      Long Answer: No, but it is possible if you can cancel your Lightning Bolt cast if you've only been casting it for 0.15 / (1+Haste) seconds (or 150 ms). Ignoring the Global Cooldown it's technically it's possible, but unless you have a very low latency and lightning reflexes this won't be possible (not to mention possible interactions with the Spell Queue), not to mention the fact that the GCD is 1-1.5 seconds (depending on haste)
      Advanced Reasoning: The logic behind this is that the time you loose by cancelling your Lightning Bolt cast effectively reduces the damage per execute time value of the next Lava Burst, meaning that you're comparing the damage per second of Lava Burst / ( cast time + time wasted ) vs (Lava Burst + Lightning Bolt) / cast time. Using some SimCraft results, I've worked this out to be 150 milliseconds in a completely un-hasted setup. As this is less than the Global Cooldown (GCD) it means you won't be able to get your next spell off until 1.5 / (1+Haste%) seconds have passed, giving the stopcasting macro a much lower overall DPS.
    • What's this 6050 haste breakpoint I keep hearing about?
      The 6050 breakpoint is often touted as the "minimum" haste needed, after which it is equal to Mastery in value. As yet I can find no evidence for a breakpoint here, nor can I find any significant breakpoints outside of the soft 50% and hard 100% haste caps. Often it is mentioned in relation to Flame Shock, however the break points for that are at 4052 & 8106 haste rating.
    Last edited by Endus; 2013-09-18 at 08:10 PM.

  3. #3
    Anung un Rama Endus's Avatar
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    • Chain Lightning
      Acquired at level 28. Is the base spell for area of effect damage. Jumps three times (five when glyphed), dealing the same damage with each jump. Changes to Lava Beam under Ascendance; each jump of Lava Beam increases the damage by 10%.
    • Earth Shock
      Acquired at level 5. Shock spell that deals nature damage and applies the Weakened Blows effect. Shares a 5 second cooldown with other shock spells. Also procs the Fulmination effect, which discharges excess Lightning Shield charges (ie: above one) at the target.
    • Earthquake
      Acquired at level 60 with Elemental Specialization. A placed AoE, with a small chance of knockdown. The damage it provides is only effective compared to Chain Lightning on 5+ targets. 10 second cooldown and duration.
    • Flame Shock
      Acquired at level 12. Shock spell that deals fire damage and applies a damage over time effect to the target for 30 seconds. Shares a 5 second cooldown with other shock spells. Increases the damage of Lava Burst by 50% on Flame Shocked targets.
    • Lava Burst
      Acquired at level 34. Lava Burst is our primary nuke, and is a guaranteed crit, meaning that it will always proc Elemental Focus as well. A target with the Flame Shock debuff takes an additional 50% damage from Lava Burst.
    • Lightning Bolt
      Acquired at level 1. Deals nature damage with a base cast time of 2 seconds. The basic filler spell for Elemental. Causes Rolling Thunder & Elemental Overload procs.


    • Ascendance
      Acquired at level 87, Ascendance is a 15 second duration, 3 minute cooldown ability which (for Elemental) removes the cooldown on Lava Burst & turns Chain Lightning into Lava Beam. Also changes you into a Flame Ascendant for the duration of the spell.
    • Bloodlust/Heroism
      Acquired at level 70. Gives a raid wide 30% haste buff to everyone in the raid, and applies a debuff to players preventing them from benefiting from another raid haste effect for 10 minutes. 5 minute cooldown.
    • Earth Elemental Totem
      Acquired at level 56. Summons an Earth Elemental to fight by your side for one minute, with a five minute cooldown. Can taunt non-boss enemies.
    • Fire Elemental Totem
      Acquired at level 66. Summons a Fire Elemental to fight by your side for one minute (or 36 seconds when glyphed), with a five minute cooldown (three minutes when glyphed). While it has a Fire Nova ability it is best used as a single target DPS cooldown, or rather, it shouldn't be saved for AoE burn phases.
    • Magma Totem
      Acquired at level 36. Summons a totem that deals fire damage every 2 seconds to targets within 8 yards. Lasts for 1 minute. An AoE totem, but is best cast before any AoE phase to increase damage output. Can be cast mid-burn, but requires 7 or more targets to be effective.
    • Searing Totem
      Acquired at level 16. Summons a totem that shoots fire damage at a single target every 2 seconds for 1 minute. Our default single-target damage totem, to be used when we aren't using another Fire totem.
    • Stormlash Totem
      Acquired at level 78. Summons a totem that buffs all allies within 30 yards, causing their attacks and spells to deal additional Nature damage for 10 seconds. This is a strong raid DPS cooldown, but the buff does not stack, so it should be cast one after the other if you have multiple Shaman in the raid. 5 minute cooldown.
    • Thunderstorm
      Acquired at level 10 with Elemental Specialization. Knocks back and deals damage to enemies within 10 yards, and restores 15% of your mana. Typically used for the mana restoration or the knockback in PvE, rather than damage.
    • Unleash Elements
      Acquired at level 81. Unleashed the existing weapon imbue spell, dealing direct damage as well as providing an additional benefit. For Elemental, this typically is the Unleash Flametongue effect, increasing the next Fire spell's damage by 30%. 15 second cooldown.


    • Bind Elemental
      Acquired at level 72. Allows crowd control of one Elemental type unit for 50 seconds with no cooldown.
    • Capacitor Totem
      Acquired at level 63. Summons an Air totem which causes a 5 second 8 yard AoE stun after a 5 second delay (to allow players a chance to kill or relocate it)
    • Chain Heal
      Acquired at level 40. A heal that jumps 4 times from target to target, healing for a lower amount each time.
    • Earthbind Totem
      Acquired at level 26. Slows foes within 10 yards by 50%. Can be upgraded to Earthgrab Totem, which roots foes in place for 5 seconds in addition to the slow effect (each target can only be rooted once)
    • Frost Shock
      Acquired at level 22. Shock spell that deals frost damage and applies a 8 second debuff that reduces movement speed for 8 seconds. Also causes a high amount of threat. Primarily used for single target kiting and nothing else. Can be talented to freeze the target in place for 5 seconds.
    • Ghost Wolf
      Acquired at level 15. Transforms the player into a Ghost Wolf, increasing run speed by 30% and reducing the effect of slows. Usable indoors & is helpful for covering distance during combat, but prevents casting so is usually limited to non-damage time or getting out of areas faster.
    • Grounding Totem
      Acquired at level 38. Redirects a single harmful spell to itself, which destroys the totem. Effectively negates the spell cast.
    • Healing Rain
      Acquired at level 60. An area of effect heal with a 8 second duration/cooldown.
    • Healing Stream Totem
      Acquired at level 30. Heals the most injured party/raid member every 2 seconds for 15 seconds. 30 second cooldown. A smart but low value heal.
    • Healing Surge
      Acquired at level 7. A 1.5 second single target heal. The high mana cost allows for spot or emergency healing only.
    • Healing Tide Totem - New in 5.4
      The 5.1-5.3 talent is now a baseline Shaman cooldown, available to all specs. This is an AoE healing cooldown with a 40-yard radius, so positioning does not matter a great deal.
    • Hex
      Acquired at level 80. Transforms a target into a frog for 1 minute. 45 second cooldown.
    • Purge
      Acquired at level 12. Removes one buff from the enemy target per cast. Spells that can be dispelled by this spell should be highlighted so that they stand out among other buffs on the enemy target.
    • Shamanistic Rage
      Acquired at level 65. Reduces all damage by 30% and causes all offensive spells and totems to cost no mana for 15 seconds. Usable while stunned. 60 second cooldown.
    • Spiritwalker’s Grace
      Acquired at level 85. When used, allows you to move while casting non-instant spells, granting you some mobility for 15 seconds. 2 minute cooldown.
    • Totemic Recall
      Acquired at level 30. Destroys any active totems, returning 25% of their mana cost to you. Useful if repositioning and in need of mana, and can be combined with the Totemic Restoration talent to destroy totems early and maximize the potential cooldown reduction.
    • Tremor Totem
      Acquired at level 52. Breaks Fear, Charm, and Sleep effects when dropped, and for 6 seconds thereafter, on all party and raid members within 30 yards. Can be used while afflicted by those effects as well. 1 minute cooldown.
    • Wind Shear
      Acquired at level 16. Our ranged interrupt, locking out spells of that school for 3 seconds. Also has a small threat reduction effect. Note that the range on Wind Shear is only 25 yards, not 40, unlike most of our other spells. 12 second cooldown.

    Buffs & Passive

    • Burning Wrath
      Acquired at level 40. Gives a 10% spellpower bonus to the player and any group/raid members (range: 100 yards)
    • Elemental Focus
      Acquired at level 40. Focus is a 15% damage increase/25% mana decrease proc from spell critical hits, which generate two charges. It will affect procs from Echo of the Elements and Overload, but only if a charge is still up when they hit (ie: if the last charge is consumed on a cast that procs either, they will not be affected). It is also not generated by Echo or Overload spells.
    • Elemental Fury
      Acquired at level 10. The 50% increase gives us 250% critical strikes, or 259% with 3% critical bonus meta gems. For more information on how this is calculated, refer to the Totemspot Wiki
    • Elemental Oath
      Acquired at level 55. Elemental Oath is our 5% Spell Haste raid buff. 100 yard radius.
    • Elemental Precision
      Acquired at level 10. This allows Spirit to be effectively the same as Hit Rating for us, improving gear choices.
    • Elemental Reach
      Acquired at level 10. The range increase ensures that all of our spells are usable up to 40 yards from the target.
    • Flametongue Weapon
      Acquired at level 10. While it causes fire damage on each weapon hit, the primary function for Elemental is the 7% magic damage increase. Lasts for 60 minutes.
    • Fulmination
      Acquired at level 30. The extra Lightning Shield charges are generated through Rolling Thunder. These allow your Earth Shock to inflict up to 6 Lightning Shield charges of damage when used. In general, you want to maximize the number of charges you use with each Earth Shock while minimizing the number of charges "lost" from sitting at 7 stacks, while also ensuring Flame Shock uptime.
    • Grace of Air
      Acquired at level 80. Provides a mastery bonus to the player and nearby group/raid members (range: 100 yards). Gives 3000 mastery at level 90.
    • Lava Surge
      Acquired at level 50. Lava Surge provides each Flame Shock tick a 20% chance to reset Lava Burst's CD, and makes it an instant cast.
    • Lightning Shield
      Acquired at level 8. A nature based damage shield, which can stack up to 7 charges via Rolling Thunder procs. Charges will be expelled when hit or casting Earth Shock, down to a minimum of 1. Lasts 60 minutes.
    • Mail Specialization
      Acquired at level 50. Provides 5% bonus intellect to the player while you have mail items equipped in every armor slot as Elemental.
    • Mastery: Elemental Overload
      Our Mastery allows for additional "free" casts at reduced damage on Lightning Bolt, Lava Burst, and Chain Lightning. These additional casts can typically proc additional effects just as the initial spell does, including Rolling Thunder procs.
    • Reincarnation
      Acquired at level 30. Allows you to resurrect yourself at 20% health & mana. The 30 minute cooldown means that one should think before using it to make sure that it'll matter as it won't be up for a several attempts after the Reincarnation if you waste it.
    • Rockbiter Weapon
      Acquired at level 75. Increases threat generation by 30% and reduces damage by 5%. The main use as Elemental is for the damage reduction, particularly with the Unleash Fury talent improvement. Lasts for 60 minutes.
    • Rolling Thunder
      Acquired at level 20. The mana regeneration is Elemental's main tool for keeping mana high, while the Lightning Shield charges are used to fuel Fulmination.
    • Shamanism
      Acquired at level 10. This passive is where our Shaman class spells are adjusted for Elemental, reducing the cast time while increasing the damage of Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning, and also removing the cooldown from Chain Lightning.
    • Spiritual Insight
      Acquired at level 10. The mana pool increase of 400% provides us with enough mana to maintain our rotation, and the shock reduction improves our ability to juggle Earth and Flame Shocks effectively.
    • Water Shield
      Acquired at level 20. Provides mana regeneration both passively and when struck. Generally, it is not worth giving up Lightning Shield, and between Rolling Thunder and Thunderstorm, should not be needed for mana generation in the first place. Lasts 60 minutes.
    Last edited by Endus; 2013-09-18 at 08:14 PM.

  4. #4
    Anung un Rama Endus's Avatar
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    Tier 1: Level 15
    Astral Shift - Now has a 90 second cooldown, down from 120 seconds, in 5.4
    Seek haven by shifting partially into the elemental planes, reducing damage taken by 40% for 6 sec.

    Nature's Guardian
    Whenever a damaging attack brings you below 30% health, your maximum health is increased by 25% for 10 sec, and your threat level towards the attacker is reduced. This effect cannot occur more often than once every 30 sec. As of 5.2, your health percentage remains the same when the effect expires.

    Stone Bulwark Totem - Initial shield bumped by 33% in 5.4
    Summons an Earth Totem with 10% of the caster's health at the feet of the caster for 30 sec that grants the caster a shield absorbing (AP * 0.625 * 0.875 or SP * 0.875) * 3) damage for 10 sec, and up to an additional (AP * 0.625 * 0.875 or SP * 0.875) every 5 sec thereafter. It is not affected by haste.

    All three have valid uses; Nature's Guardian has the lowest CD, and with constant damage incoming, will provide more damage reduction more consistently, but isn't under your direct control and may trigger when unwanted. For predictable spikes, Nature's Guardian is better for single big hits, and Stone Bulwark totem better for ongoing small amounts of damage. Which is "better" depends on the circumstances of the encounter.

    Tier 2: Level 30
    Earthgrab Totem
    Summons an Earth Totem with 100 health at the feet of the caster for 20 sec. The totem pulses every 2 sec, causing roots to ensnare the legs of all enemies within 10 yards for 5 sec, preventing movement. Enemies that have already been rooted once by the totem will instead have their movement speed reduced by 50%. Replaces Earthbind Totem

    Frozen Power
    Your Frost Shock now also roots the target in ice for 5 sec.

    Windwalk Totem
    Summons an Air Totem with 5 health at the feet of the caster for 6 sec, granting raid members within 40 yards immunity to movement-impairing effects.

    As with Tier 1, there are two possible choices here between Earthgrab and Windwalk Totems. Frozen Power is not recommended as Frost Shock is on the shared shock cooldown with Earth Shock and Flame Shock. Earthbind should be taken for snaring, while Windwalk will be useful in anti-snaring situations (mostly PvP, but there may be some PvE applications).

    Tier 3: Level 45
    Call of the Elements
    When activated, immediately finishes the cooldown on all totems with a base cooldown shorter than 3 minutes.

    Totemic Projection
    Relocates your active totems to the specified location.

    Totemic Restoration - Removed in 5.4
    Replaced by;
    Totemic Persistence
    Summoning a second totem of the same element no longer causes the first totem to be destroyed. Only one totem can benefit from this effect at a time. Does not affect Fire Totems.

    There is no "right" choice here. The new Totemic Persistence does not affect Fire Totems, meaning it isn't a DPS increase over the others, and there are valid arguments to be made in favor of each of the three options. In practice, pick which you enjoy the most, though there may be situational circumstances that prefer one to the others.

    Tier 4: Level 60
    Ancestral Swiftness
    Your next Nature spell with a base casting time less than 10 sec. becomes an instant cast spell. 1 minute cooldown.
    Passive: Increases spell by 5% and melee haste by 10%

    Echo of the Elements
    When one of your spells causes direct damage or healing, you have a chance to gain Echo of the Elements, duplicating that spell's effect.
    The spell duplication effect can no longer trigger more than once every 4 seconds when used against hostile players, and their pets and guardians.

    Elemental Mastery
    Call upon elemental forces, empowering you with 30% haste for 20 sec. 90 second cooldown.

    Echo of the Elements is winning out over the others in sims at this point, though the margin is close. The new change to EotE should only apply in PvP situations.

    Tier 5: Level 75
    Ancestral Guidance
    When you deal direct damage or healing for the next 10 sec, 40% of that amount is copied as healing to up to 3 nearby injured party or raid members. 2 minute cooldown

    Conductivity - Redesigned in 5.4;
    Healing an ally with Healing Wave, Greater Healing Wave, Healing Surge, or Chain Heal, increases the duration of Healing Rain by 4 seconds.
    Damaging an enemy with Lightning Bolt, Chain Lightning, Earth Shock, or Stormstrike increases the duration of Healing Rain by 4 seconds.
    Conductivity can increase the duration of Healing Rain up to a maximum of 40 seconds.

    Healing Tide Totem - Removed, made into a baseline cooldown for all Shaman.
    Replaced by;
    Rushing Streams
    Increases healing done by Healing Stream Totem by 15%, and causes the totem to heal 2 targets at once.

    Of these three talents, Ancestral Guidance is the best one to use. It scales directly with damage and the 40% value is applied to each target for a total of 120% healing, so when you are dealing 100k personal DPS (a round example figure only) you will heal other players for 1.2 million health in 10 seconds. The new Conductivity means that your Healing Rain can last a very long time, but you still need to spend the GCD to originally cast it, and unless the raid is stacking in that one spot for the extended duration, it isn't worthwhile (though definitely could be, in that case). Rushing Streams might be able to push more healing than either, overall, but it requires maintaining Healing Stream Totem's uptime, which costs GCDs.

    Tier 6: Level 90
    Elemental Blast
    Harness and direct the raw power of the elements towards an enemy target, dealing 3734 to 4339 (+ 181.1% of SpellPower) Elemental damage and increasing the caster's Critical Strike, Haste, or Mastery by 3500 for 8 sec. 2 second cast, 12 second cooldown

    Primal Elementalist
    Your Earth and Fire Elemental Totems draw forth powerful primal elementals directly from the elemental planes. These servitors are 80% more powerful than regular elementals, act as pets directly under your control, and gain additional abilities.
    Note: The Fire Elemental ability Empower, which increases your damage by 5%, also prevents the Fire Elemental from attacking. You will need to do more than 800% of your average DPS in order for this to be useful if your Fire Elemental can attack your target. This is primarily a solution for the "my Fire Elemental can't attack anything" situations.

    Unleashed Fury
    Your elemental weapon imbues are empowered, granting additional effects when triggered with Unleash Weapon.
    Flametongue Weapon: Increases the enemy target's damage taken from your Lightning Bolt by 30%, and from your Lava Burst by 10% for 10 sec.

    With the buff to Unleashed Fury, all three are valid options. Primal Elementalist is better for fights with a serious burn phases or phases where the boss cannot be hit, as you can time the cooldown to maximize your DPS when needed. Elemental Blast and Unleashed Fury are typically pretty similar, though Unleashed Fury will be more mobile as it's an instant cast, rather than a spell with a cast time. If you want a one-shot wonder, I would recommend Unleashed Fury, unless an encounter is ideally suited to Primal Elementalist, but that doesn't mean Elemental Blast is "wrong"; if you prefer it, it isn't really a DPS loss, if you can deal with the cast time.
    Last edited by Endus; 2013-09-11 at 07:36 PM.

  5. #5
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    Major Glyphs

    Glyph of Chain Lightning
    Advantage: Increases AoE damage from Chain Lightning by adding two additional jumps
    Disadvantage: Reduces initial damage by 10%
    Notes: Best used when you expect to face 4+ targets, as it's a damage loss when dealing with three targets or fewer.
    Advice: Required for AoE

    Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem
    Advantage: Decreases the cooldown of Fire Elemental Totem from 5 minutes to 2.5 minutes
    Disadvantage: Decreases the duration of Fire Elemental Totem from 60 seconds to 30 seconds
    Notes: The duration to cooldown ratio remains the same, so what this glyph allows is a more frequent but shorter use of your Fire Elemental. While this results in an average uptime decrease of 9 seconds, it allows for better syncing & sharing of cooldowns with Ascendance which is also on a 3 minute cooldown. In 5.4, this was changed from a 40% reduction to a 50% reduction.
    Advice: Situational, depending on if the fight does not allow for the full uptime. The change in 5.4 means that the cooldown no longer lines up with Ascendance, reducing the value of this glyph slightly.

    Glyph of Flame Shock
    Advantage: When Flame Shock deals damage, it heals you for 30% of the damage dealt.
    Disadvantage: None.
    Useful if you have nothing else to fill the slot, as you'll have some constant self-healing as a result. Can be handy for progression fights.
    Advice: Optional

    Glyph of Lightning Shield
    Advantage: Grants a 10% damage reduction buff for 6 seconds after Lightning Shield is triggered.
    Disadvantage: None.
    Notes: Lightning Shield doesn’t proc off AoE spells, so it will only be useful for certain fights with high frequency non-AoE attacks.
    Advice: Optional

    Glyph of Shamanistic Rage
    Advantage: Activating Shamanistic Rage also cleanses you of all dispellable Magic effects.
    Disadvantage: None.
    Notes: Useful on certain boss fights which require regular cleansing that healers can't easily keep up with. Examples: Heroic Jin’rokh, Heroic Horridon.
    Advice: Situational depending on need for self-dispels.

    Glyph of Telluric Currents
    Advantage: Lightning Bolt hits restore 2% of your mana
    Disadvantage: None.
    Notes: Elemental doesn't have any mana problems even before considering Thunderstorm. This makes Telluric Currents largely redundant, even with AoE burn phases as every Chain Lightning strike has an independent chance to cause Rolling Thunder procs.
    Advice: Not Recommended

    Glyph of Thunder
    Advantage: Reduces the cooldown on Thunderstorm by 10 seconds
    Disadvantage: None
    Notes: As with Telluric Currents, there's no need for this glyph from a mana restore point of view. However, if you are using the knockback function frequently, then the glyph may be of some use. Note: stacks with the 4pc bonus from next seasons PvP gear.
    Advice: Optional, but only when using the knockback

    Glyph of Unstable Earth
    Advantage: Earthquake reduces the movement speed of affected targets by 40% for 3 seconds
    Disadvantage: None
    Notes:Effectively adds Earthbind Totem's slow to Earthquake. Situationally useful for AoE where the targets must be kited.
    Advice: Optional for AoE

    Glyph of Wind Shear
    Advantage: Increases the school lockout by 1 second
    Disadvantage: Increases the cooldown by 3 seconds
    Notes: This glyph brings Wind Shear into line with the interrupts of most melee classes (4 second lockout, 15 second cooldown).
    Advice: Optional, depending on encounter & interrupt management.

    Minor Glyphs
    Glyph of Thunderstorm
    Advantage: Removes the knockback effect of Thunderstorm
    Disadvantage: None
    Notes: Used to remove the knockback effect on Thunderstorm.
    Advice: Optional. Note that you generally won't be using Thunderstorm for AoE damage, so this is only useful to prevent knockbacks when using it to restore mana.
    Last edited by Endus; 2013-09-18 at 08:19 PM.

  6. #6
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    Elemental Shaman don't operate on a fixed rotation, but rather a priority list of actions that is run through each time you cast a spell.

    Priority Lists
    Single Target, Stationary
    1. Cast Flame Shock IF the DoT has expired or has 1 tick remaining.
    2. IF you have the L90 talent Unleashed Fury, cast Unleash Elements
    3. Cast Lava Burst IF it is off cooldown AND Flame Shock is on the target
    4. IF you have the L90 talent Elemental Blast, cast Elemental Blast
    5. Cast Earth Shock IF Lightning Shield is at 6-7 charges. Note: It is possible to pre-cast this with 3 or more charges if you need to recast Flame Shock shortly (ie: the dot has more than 5 seconds remaining). For more information on Earth Shock use, see the advanced section.
    6. Use Fire Elemental Totem IF the cooldown has expired
    7. Drop Searing Totem IF you have no active fire totem AND Fire Elemental Totem cooldown has more than 15 seconds remaining
    8. Cast Lightning Bolt

    Extra Notes


    With the removal of the Glyph of Unleashed Lightning in 5.3 (allowed Lightning Bolt to be cast while moving but with a permanent -5% cast time penalty) and merging the casting-while-moving function into the base version of Lightning Bolt, there is only one way to handle mobile DPS now.

    Use the stationary rotation as the only spell you can't cast on the move is Lava Burst except when Lava Surge procs. For that you can either stop to cast it or pop Spiritwalker’s Grace if you absolutely have to keep moving. Often players will add Spiritwalker’s Grace into their Ascendance macro to ensure that there are no movement penalties while it is up.

    Two to Five Targets

    Six or more targets

    1. Cast Magma Totem before the AoE phase begins or of there are 7+ targets. If you have Totemic Projection, use it to reposition the totem for maximum effect
    2. Cast Earthquake targets
    3. Cast Chain Lightning

    Extra notes

    • Any spell not mentioned in a particular rotation is not included in that rotation.
    • It is not worth using Flame Shock on additional targets if you're facing 2-3 targets. This is because the damage output of Earth Shock at 7 charges is roughly the same as Flame Shock & Lava Burst, and when using Chain Lightning to cleave you'll be generating more Lightning Shield charges than normal.
    • Thunderstorm is only a DPS gain if there are more than 7 targets, and requires you stand in the middle of the target group. It also requires a minor glyph to remove the knockback effect. It is not advisable to attempt this.
    • If the target group is also being kited, Totemic Projection can be used to relocate Magma Totem and glyphing for Unstable Earth can be useful to increase the effectiveness of Earthquake.

    Cooldown Use

    Depending on your talent choices, you will have between three and four cooldowns.
    • Ascendance
      For Elemental, Ascendance turns you into a Flame Ascendant for 15 seconds, removing the cooldown on Lava Burst and turning Chain Lightning into Lava Beam. This ability should primarily be used for single target damage, and should be combined with other cooldowns like Elemental Mastery or on-use trinkets. For maximum effect, it should be used when Lava Burst is on cooldown, as it resets the current cooldown when activated.
      It can also be used to boost the effectiveness of Chain Lightning during AoE phases, which changes into Lava Beam.
    • Earth Elemental Totem
      Earth Elemental Totem isn't that powerful when compared to other cooldowns, only adding roughly 0.8% to your total damage, but it contributes about as much damage as a single Lava Burst cast over a minute duration (with a five minute cooldown). The only catch is that you can't use any other Earth Totems while it is up, which includes Earthbind Totem and Tremor Totem. Only cast it in place of a Lightning Bolt while Fire Elemental Totem is on cooldown for longer than one minute, and only if you don’t need to use other earth totems while it is up.
    • Elemental Mastery
      If you take Elemental Mastery as your Level 60 talent then you use it in conjunction with Ascendance and Fire Elemental Totem whenever possible. It is safe to stack it with either Bloodlust or the Sinister Primal Diamond proc, but try to avoid having all three up at the same time, if possible.
    • Fire Elemental Totem
      Fire Elemental Totem is your second high damage cooldown, dealing approximately 5% of your totaldamage (or ~26% of your DPS while it is up), and lasts for either 1 minute with a 5 minute cooldown, or for 36 seconds with a 3 minute cooldown if you use Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem. It should be used with any cooldowns you can use with it, except for Mastery procs as Fire Elementals are not affected by Elemental Overload. If you take the Primal Elementalist talent the damage output is roughly doubled.
      • Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem
        This glyph is a damage gain or loss depending on the fight duration, but given that most fights will have an unpredictable end it may be better to use it so you can sync it with Ascendance. Even though there's no direct interaction between the two abilities, you can combine them both with other cooldowns (potions, Bloodlust/Heroism, Elemental Mastery, trinkets etc) for higher burst damage.

    Advanced Shock Management

    Early Earth Shocks
    The first method of shock management is to cast Earth Shock early to discharge Lightning Shield charges so that you don't hit the maximum of 7 while the shock cooldown is up after Flame Shock is refreshed. It uses the following conditions (note: normal rotation spell priorities don't change, just how you use them)

    Ignoring Early Casts

    The second method is to ignore the future recast of Flame Shock and only cast your shocks when the shock cooldown is up and the base conditions for each are met:

    The Difference

    The difference between the two methods is less than 0.5% (For L85 in T13H gear it is 0.3% while at L90 in T14H gear it is 0.1%) with Early Earth Shocks slightly ahead. The reason for this is that the early cast method is adding in lower damage Fulmination hits with more frequent Earth Shocks, while if you ignore early casts your Flame Shock uptime is reduced by ~1-2% and one or two Lava Burst cast may be delayed a few seconds.
    It's a fine trade off, and depends on whether you want to focus on min/maxing your rotation as to which one you will choose.

    Flame Shock Clipping
    Flame Shock, like all periodic effects, will add the duration of a recast on to the existing effect after the next tick. This means if you have one tick remaining before the DoT expires, that tick will occur and then the next DoT will start. In other words, the number of ticks lost on a recast will always be the number of ticks remaining, less one.

    This makes it easier to recast dots, and improve your uptime which is important for maintaining your 100% crit rate for Lava Burst.

    It's also worthwhile to recast Flame Shock with 2-3 ticks remaining when you have a large temporary haste buff like Bloodlust or Elemental Mastery as you gain an extra tick for every extra 10% added to your current haste, starting at 5% (eg: 15%, 25%, etc)
    Last edited by Endus; 2013-05-23 at 01:37 AM.

  7. #7
    Anung un Rama Endus's Avatar
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    • Intellect: Our main source of Spellpower and also increases crit chance slightly. In general, it's usually close to twice the value of secondary stats.
    • Spirit: With the specialization passive Elemental Precision this is identical to Hit Rating.
    • Critical Strike Rating: This stat increases our chance to deal additional (250% because of our passive Elemental Fury, and bumped up to 259% with the Chaotic meta gem) damage on every spell that we cast. 600 rating per 1%.
    • Haste Rating: Increases cast speed and dot tick rates. Actually works on increasing the number of spells cast in a given period of time, so that 100% haste doubles the number of casts. 425 rating per 1%.
    • Hit Rating: 15% spell hit is required to hit raid bosses & level 93 targets. Any excess hit has no effect on your output, but it is important to be at or over that 15% cap. 340 rating per 1%, 5100 rating required for 15%, 4760 rating for 14%.
    • Mastery Rating: Mastery increases the chance for Elemental Overload procs, duplicating Elemental Blast, Lightning Bolt, Lava Burst and Chain Lightning casts at 75% strength. 300 rating per 1% (note: it's actually 600 rating per 2%, but it's better to show it as 1% as with the other stats)

    Haste Caps & Breakpoints

    If you read up on most other spell casters, be they damage or healing, you'll see talk of "Haste Breakpoints". These are values of haste where additional ticks are added to particular DoTs & HoTs (Damage/Heal over Time). This does not apply to Elemental as our single DoT, Flame Shock, contributes approximately 5% of our damage. There will be some variation in haste around the breakpoints, but these variations are minor and should be not geared for, whereas the break points for healers are to do with mana efficiency and DoT centric casters like Affliction Warlocks are concerned with time efficiency.

    There are two haste caps, one "soft cap" at 50% where additional haste ceases to have any effect on Chain Lightning and Shock casts. The second is a "hard cap" at 100% where haste caps out on Lava Burst, Lightning Bolt and Elemental Blast. Even though temporary haste buffs like Bloodlust and Elemental Mastery will push you over the 50% haste cap if you have more than 15.38% haste self-buffed, it won't affect stat weights generated by SimulationCraft as it already takes this into account.

    As very little damage is limited by the 50% soft cap, it can be ignored for all practical intents and purposes. In short, the only cap you have to worry about is the hit cap.

    Hit Caps
    The Hit cap is 15% against targets 3 levels higher than you, or "Boss" targets. If you are a Draenei, a Dwarf with a mace, or an Orc with an Axe/Fist Weapon, you only need 14% hit from gear as racial bonuses will make up that last 1%.

    Draenei have a straight 1% hit passive, while Dwarves (Maces) and Orcs (Axes/Fists) have expertise bonuses based on the weapon they equip (although the likelihood of a caster Axe or Fist is fairly unlikely). In Mists, expertise also provides an equal amount of spell hit, which is why that 1% expertise is counted as part of the hit cap. For more details, refer to this blog post by Binkenstein

    The hit caps are:
    • 14% Hit -> 4760 rating
    • 15% Hit -> 5100 rating

    Stat Priorities

    There is one important thing to remember about stat weights for secondary stats (Crit, Haste, and Mastery): With the values being a lot closer, you can no longer completely ignore a secondary stat. This means gearing becomes a game of balancing stats rather than just stacking one. The upside is that the difference in EP values for items which have the same ilvl will be greatly reduced. This will make gearing easier, especially with the highly contested neck/finger/weapon items.

    The actual stat values will depend on your current gear and talent choices. For example, Primal Elementalist will decrease the value of Mastery slightly, as it doesn't affect Fire Elemental in any way. It's also important to note that the difference between Crit, Haste, and Mastery may be by very small margins. For more details on the current stat priorities, refer to the Gearing section.

    The end result is that you'll need to familiarize yourself with SimulationCraft and generate plots and/or reforge plots for Crit/Haste/Mastery to observe how they behave. For extra help, refer to our guide here. Stat Plots show the change in DPS with the change in one particular stat, graphed to show how each stat you're plotting compares with the others. For Elemental these plot lines will be fairly close. Reforge plots take longer to run, but show the change in DPS when you reforge from one stat to another, which can be useful for fine tuning your reforges.

    Racial Bonuses
    • Alliance
      Pandaren >= Draenei > Dwarf Although if you value Draenei as worth 340 hit rating rather than 340 of the highest out of Crit/Haste/Mastery it ranks in first place.
    • Horde
      Troll >= Orc > Pandaren > Goblin > Tauren
    • Pandaren bonuses only last while you have a food buff present.
    • Troll & Orc are fairly interchangeable. Orcs will gain more from a talent like Primal Elementalist.
    • The difference between racial bonuses is fairly minor, in the ~0.3% range.
    Last edited by Endus; 2013-05-23 at 01:35 AM.

  8. #8
    Anung un Rama Endus's Avatar
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    Stat Priorities
    The priority for secondary stats will be the same, but the actual weights will be dependent on the Tier 6 talent you have taken and whether you have T15 4pc and/or the Sinister Primal Diamond

    Intellect > Hit/Spirit to 15% cap > Haste >= Mastery > Crit

    There is a bit of a pseudo-breakpoint in the value of Haste, if you have the Legendary Meta Gem, at 4204 Haste, however Haste will still retain significant value, comparable to Mastery. As such, I see no reason to change the recommendation of always simming your personal gear to determine where your itemization values are at. Without the LMG, Haste will likely win out, but simming is a good habit to get into.

    It is also possible for Haste and/or Mastery to be worth more than half of Intellects value, which means that you can end up using yellow gems over red gems. You still need to remember to get high value socket bonuses, but you’ll change your red/orange/purple focus to orange/yellow/green.

    Stat Focus Builds
    Even though Haste is worth more than Mastery, it’s possible to do Mastery focused or “balanced” gear builds (where Haste = Mastery). This is because Mastery gets a larger bonus from the T15 4pc bonus than Haste does (due to the fact that Overload & Echo procs also reduce the Ascendance cooldown).

    The end result is that Mastery is more random, but lends itself to more burst damage, while Haste is more dependable and has more trinket procs. Neither is the “best” way to approach things, which is why there are three approaches to gearing.

    Note that if you do not have either of T15 4pc or Sinister Primal Diamond you should stick with the Haste > Mastery priority.

    Haste Notes
    There are no true haste breakpoints. If you suddenly see the value of haste drop significantly, it's because you've stacked way too much haste at the expense of other stats.

    Meta: Burning Primal Diamond / Sinister Primal Diamond
    Blue: Purified Imperial Amethyst / Veiled Imperial Amethyst / Energized Wild Jade / Lightning Wild Jade
    Red: Brilliant Primordial Ruby / Reckless Vermilion Onyx
    Yellow: Reckless Vermilion Onyx / Artful Vermilion Onyx / Quick Sun's Radiance

    Perfect versions of uncommon gems (Pandarian Garnet, Roguestone & Tiger Opal) can also be used as they have the same stats as rare gems.

    Shoulder: Greater Crane Wing Inscription or Crane Wing Inscription
    Chest: Glorious Stats
    Legs: Greater Cerulean Spellthread or Greater Pearlescent Spellthread
    Hands: Greater Haste or Superior Mastery
    Feet: Pandaren's Step
    Wrist: Super Intellect
    Back: Superior Intellect
    Main Hand: Jade Spirit > Windsong > Elemental Force (This takes into account details released here)
    Off Hand: Major Intellect

    A rough priority for trinkets would be;
    Purified Bindings > Kardris ~= Black Blood > Prismatic Prison > Frenzied Crystal
    Last edited by Endus; 2013-09-18 at 08:24 PM.

  9. #9
    Anung un Rama Endus's Avatar
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    To be added later

    Addon Configs
    Endus' Shaman Auras - A full Shaman WeakAuras package
    The Ultimate Shaman UI - A complete UI overhaul package oriented to Shaman in particular


    Focus Target macros automatically use the ability on the target you've selected as your focus, rather than your current target. These macros allow you to maintain DPS while also maintaining CC or interrupts/dispels on a secondary target.

    Bind Elemental
    Focus Target
    /clearfocus [modifier:alt][@focus,dead][@focus,noexists]
    /focus [@focus,noexists]
    /cast [@focus] Bind Elemental

    Hex Focus Target
    /clearfocus [modifier:alt][@focus,dead][@focus,noexists]
    /focus [@focus,noexists]
    /cast [@focus] Hex

    Purge Focus Target
    /clearfocus [modifier:alt][@focus,dead][@focus,noexists]
    /focus [@focus,noexists]
    /cast [@focus] Purge

    Wind Shear Focus Target
    /focus [@focus,noexists]
    /cast [@focus] Wind Shear

    Elemental Mastery -
    pops Elemental Mastery and both trinkets (trinkets being slots 13 and 14 in the equipment panel), and then immediately casts Lightning Bolt in the same keypress; trinkets and Elemental Mastery are off the GCD so this triggers all this with a single keypress.

    /cast Elemental Mastery
    /run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()
    /use 13
    /use 14
    /cast Lightning Bolt

    Heroism - prevents you popping hero outside of combat, and uses a /yell to advertise that it's been activated. Replace Heroism with Bloodlust if you're Horde.

    /stopmacro [nocombat]
    /cast Heroism
    /yell <Insert witty one liner here>

    Elemental Buffing -
    puts your Flametongue Weapon/Lightning Shield self buffs into a single keybind you press twice, rather than two separate keybinds, useful for making space on your bars. Flametongue Weapon is listed first as both buffs have 60 minute durations, but Rolling Thunder procs will refresh Lightning Shield during combat, meaning it's unlikely to expire while playing actively.

    #showtooltip Lightning Shield Macro
    /castsequence reset=6 Flametongue Weapon, Lightning Shield

    Totemic Projection
    - for double clicking to reposition totems and save one button on your action bars. Will work with any totem in addition to the following examples.

    /castsequence reset=6 magma totem, totemic projection
    /castsequence reset=6 capacitor totem, totemic projection
    /castsequence reset=6 earthbind totem, totemic projection
    /castsequence reset=6 earthgrab totem, totemic projection

    - which triggers Trinkets, Spiritwalker's Grace and Lava Burst. You can remove Spiritwalker's Grace if you want to use it separately.

    /cast Ascendance
    /run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()
    /cast Spiritwalker's Grace
    /use 13
    /use 14
    /cast Lava Burst
    Last edited by Endus; 2013-05-23 at 01:18 AM.

  10. #10
    Anung un Rama Endus's Avatar
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    Authors (5.3)

    5.4 Updates by Endus

    Special Thanks

    If you wish to host/maintain a translated version of this guide, please contact Binkenstein on the TotemSpot forums. Access can be set up to the private guide editing forum for notifications of changes.

    Copyright Information
    This article has been written by Binkenstien, Endus & Gistwiki. The article and all future versions of the article are licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Reproduction of the article in full or in part, or further derivative works based on the article, including translations, are permitted as long as:
    The reproduction or derivative work includes a direct link to this article and prominently displays the name of both the original author and subsequent authors.
    The reproduction or derivative work is not used for commercial purposes or for profit.
    The reproduction or derivative work is also released under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License.
    The full text of the license agreement may be viewed here or via written request to Creative Commons, 171 2nd Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California, 94105, USA.
    Last edited by Endus; 2013-09-18 at 08:07 PM.

  11. #11
    Anung un Rama Endus's Avatar
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    Reserved for future expansion.

  12. #12
    Legendary! Volitar's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    A better expansion.
    I think you are wrong about using magma on 7+. (Could be wrong just sitting at dummy and testing) It seems like a dps boost as long as its hitting two targets while its up.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Volitar View Post
    I think you are wrong about using magma on 7+. (Could be wrong just sitting at dummy and testing) It seems like a dps boost as long as its hitting two targets while its up.
    Note the bit about "mid burn". The damage returned from Magma over the same duration as a single Earthquake is about the same as a single Chain Lightning cast, so unless you're at 6+ targets (will change that) or have an AoE phase with more than 10-12 seconds remaining, it's not actually worth dropping. However, since it's a 1 minute cast it's highly worthwhile dropping prior to the AoE phase, which if you check out the AoE rotation section is what we recommend.

  14. #14
    Is the hit cap going to be 15% at 90 also or only for 5.0.5

  15. #15
    Anung un Rama Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bleachroxs View Post
    Is the hit cap going to be 15% at 90 also or only for 5.0.5
    Hit cap percentages won't change; those are based on level difference, not absolute level. The rating needed to reach 15%, though, will change past 85.

  16. #16
    What are the author's collective thoughts on race as far as min/maxing goes? I know that Pandaren will more than likely be the best with Epicurean, but because you could possibly lose the benefits mid-fight via death, I feel as if Trolls could pull ahead of Pandaren because of the drawbacks of Epicurean and the fact that Berserking lines up with both Ascendance and a glyphed FET, but then I look at simcraft and I see that Orc is currently simming out the highest. Is there even a clear front-runner at the moment?

  17. #17
    Anung un Rama Endus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brikkhouse View Post
    What are the author's collective thoughts on race as far as min/maxing goes? I know that Pandaren will more than likely be the best with Epicurean, but because you could possibly lose the benefits mid-fight via death, I feel as if Trolls could pull ahead of Pandaren because of the drawbacks of Epicurean and the fact that Berserking lines up with both Ascendance and a glyphed FET, but then I look at simcraft and I see that Orc is currently simming out the highest. Is there even a clear front-runner at the moment?
    Racial info has been added to the stats section. Loosely speaking, you're right; Troll >= Orc > Pandaren, for Horde.

  18. #18
    Why isn't Earth Shock 6-7 stacks a high priority than Lava Burst? It seems to be doing significantly more damage, regardless of whether it crits or not.

    I'm guessing its due to Elemental Overload and the desire to NOT lose any time on another Lava Surge Proc?
    Last edited by Ardourdan; 2012-09-21 at 04:23 PM.

  19. #19
    Well done guide, good job guys.

  20. #20
    Tier 6: Level 90
    Elemental Blast
    Harness and direct the raw power of the elements towards an enemy target, dealing 3734 to 4339 (+ 181.1% of SpellPower) Elemental damage and increasing the caster's Critical Strike, Haste, or Mastery by 3000 for 8 sec. 2 second cast, 12 second cooldown
    As far as I know, they changed it back to 3500.
    Last edited by Lensir; 2012-09-23 at 03:42 PM.

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