Patch 4.3 Elemental Shaman Guide – Stats, talent spec, glyphs, reforging and gems, priorities and rotation

Well, we’ve downed the Firelands, and now we’re off to fight the next element – which appears to be either slime, tentacles, or apostrophes, looking at Patch 4.3’s raid bosses. Anyway, Thrall’s in trouble, so it’s time for his fellow shamans to pick up their totems – that might take some time – and get down there to help him. Here’s our Elemental Shaman guide for Patch 4.3, including stats, talent spec, glyphs, reforging, gems and priorities, so you can start zapping without delay.

Updated Nov 29th 2011 for Patch 4.3

Elemental Shaman Changes in Patch 4.3

Elemental Shamans have had some heavy changes in Patch 4.3, mostly aimed at AOE. Earthquake’s damage is up 75% (!), Chain Lighting no longer has a cooldown for Elemental shamans, and several spells have had their damage buffed for Elemental shamans by roughly 4%.

At the same time, Fire Nova will no longer extend the duration of Flame Shock. All of this means that our AOE rotation has totally changed – see below.

In other news, Reverberation now massively reduces Wind Shear’s cooldown – which has gone up, and comes down again with this change. However, that doesn’t change our recommended talents.

Elemental Rotation / Priorities

Like most DPS classes in Cataclysm, Elemental shamans don’t have a fixed rotation any more. Instead, we have priority system – use whichever ability is highest-priority and available.

  • Top Priority: Put down a Fire totem if one isn’t down already. If the target doesn’t have a Flame Shock Damage over Time on it, apply one.
  • Second Priority: Cast Lava Burst if it procs. Cast Earth Shock if it doesn’t, and if you have 8 or 9 Lightning Shield stacks.
  • Third Priority: If you have nothing else to do, cast Lightning Bolt.

Totems: Unless your raid/group leader tells you otherwise, use Earth: Stoneskin, Air: Wrath of Air, Water: Healing Stream, Fire: Searing.

Buffs: Keep Flametongue Weapon and Lightning Shield active at all times.

Cooldowns: Use Fire Elemental Totem whenever possible and when the mob will survive long enough to outlive its duration. Use Elemental Mastery whenever it’s off cooldown. Use Spiritwalker’s Grace if you’re about to have 10 sec or more of constant movement.

Advanced tips: Fire Elemental Totem is best cast when you have a Spellpower proc. Flame Shock is best cast when the FS DOT has about 2 sec left to run. See the MMO Champion guide, in Links, for more.

AOE: Cast Earthquake where the mobs are tanked. Then spam Chain Lightning, and use Fulmination whenever you reach 9 charges.


Elemental Talent Spec

This is a good standard Elemental talent spec for 4.3

If you’re having mana problems, try swapping Reverberation (2nd Tier Elemental) for Convection (First Tier Elemental).

Stats, reforging and gemming for Elemental

The most important stat for Elemental is Intellect, then Hit or Spirit to the cap (1742 – don’t settle for just under, you need cap or over), then Haste, then Mastery. Crit is the least useful stat for Elemental shamans.

Reforging: Reforge to Spirit to the hit cap, then reforge to Haste. Reforge from hit above the cap first, if you have any, then Crit.

Gems: Use a Brilliant Inferno Ruby in all sockets. unless the socket has a per-socket bonus of 20 Int or better. In blue or yellow sockets where the bonus is 20 Int or better, use Purified Demonseye (Int/Spirit) or Reckless Ember Topaz (Int/Haste).

Note – If you can’t reach hit cap with reforging alone, you’ll also want to gem for it. Match blue gem sockets first if you’re doing that.

Elemental Shaman enchants

Several professions can provide better enhancements than these – Inscription, Tailoring, Engineering all have potential buffs. Check the stat priorities above.

Head Arcanum of Hyjal
Shoulders   Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Back Enchant Cloak – Greater Intellect
Chest Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Wrist Enchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect
Hands Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery
Belt Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Legs Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Feet Enchant Boots – Precision or Mastery
Weapon Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent
Off-Hand Weapon Enchant Weapon – Superior Intellect


Prime: Unleashed Lightning, Flame Shock, Lava Burst (NOTE – if you are in a fight where you will need to move a lot, Glyph of Lightning Bolt can be used to replace Glyph of Lava Burst)

Major: Lightning Shield, Healing Stream Totem, Thunder. Chain Lightning is useful if you know you’ll be hitting a lot of adds.

Minor: Entirely your choice.

  • MMO Champion Elemental guide – Interesting and well-written, a good counterpoint to the EJ guide. Not up to 4.3 yet, but still worth a look.
  • Elitist Jerks Elemental Shaman Guide – as usual, an excellent resource, split into a FAQ and a very detailed guide that’s worth reading. Fully updated to 4.3.
  • Totemspot – the awesome Binkenstein, math-heavy Ele Shammie blogger, now at a new location. Extremely worth reading.

You also might find the rest of MMO Melting Pot interesting – we look for the best articles about WoW and other MMOs and deliver them straight to you. Check out the latest articles.

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