Elemental Shaman Quick-Start Guide For WoW Patch 5.4 – Stats, talents and spec, glyphs, rotation, reforging and gems, and ability priorities

by on August 28, 2012

It’s Patch 5.4 time – time to get into the final raid of Pandaria. So, if you want to get up and Lightning Bolting fast, here’s our quick-start guide to get your rotation sorted, your reforging and gemming squared away, sort your talent choices, you glyphs, and get your stats organised in MoP / WoW Patch 5.4!

Updated 17th September 2013 to WoW Patch 5.4

Changes to Elemental Shamans in WoW Patch 5.4

Very few changes – slight stat priority change.

Elemental “Rotation” and Priorities

OUr DPS rotations remain mostly the same as they were in Cataclysm – the big change being the removal of buff totems.

Single-target DPS

  • Top Priority: If the target doesn’t have a Flame Shock ticking on it, apply one.
  • Second Priority: Cast Lava Burst if it’s available. Cast Earth Shock if it doesn’t, and if you have 6 or more Lightning Shield stacks.
  • Third Priority: Cast or refresh Searing Totem if it’s about to go away. If you have nothing else to do, cast Lightning Bolt.


For 3 or more enemies (not worth it below that – use your single-target rotation), use Magma Totem, then spam Chain Lightning.


  • Use Spiritwalker’s Grace whenever you’ll need to move and attack.
  • Use Ascendance on cooldown, ideally when Lava Burst is on cooldown.
  • Use Fire and Earth Elemental Totems whenever the elementals are guaranteed to be able to attack the boss for a solid minute.
  • Use Stormlash Totem when your entire group is buffed, usually at the same time as Heroism/Bloodlust/Time Warp.
  • Use Thunderstorm either to AOE large groups of mobs or if you’re having mana issues.
  • Use Heroism/Bloodlust when your raid leader tells you to, or in dungeons when your group needs to deal high DPS.


Keep Flametongue Weapon and Lightning Shield active at all times.

Elemental Shaman Talent Choices

Shaman talent choices are particularly hotly disputed and situational. However, here’s a good general-purpose build to get started with:

  • Tier 1: Astral Shift – powerful damage reduction cooldown.
  • Tier 2: Earthgrab Totem – only situationally useful.
  • Tier 3: Totemic Projection – useful to move your Magma Totem.
  • Tier 4: Echo of the Elements
  • Tier 5: Ancestral Guidance – gives you a short-cooldown raid healing spell.
  • Tier 6: Primal Elementalist

Stats, reforging and gemming for Elemental Shaman

Like all casters, Intellect is our strongest stat. Then we’re looking to get Hit capped (15% OR 5100). After that, at level 90 Mastery is our best secondary stat.

Reforging: Reforge for Hit cap (either Hit or Spirit), then reforge to Mastery. Reforge from excess Hit first, then Crit.
Gems: For Red and Blue slots, Brilliant (Intellect) gems. For Yellow slots, Artful (Int/Mastery).
Meta Gem: Burning meta gem.

Ele Glyphs

Elemental Shamans are more limited in glyphs than other specs in 5.4 – here’s a good general-purpose selection:

Major: Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem, Glyph of Flame Shock, Glyph of Chain Lightning
Minor: Your choice!

Elemental Shaman enchants and item enhancements

You should almost always use a profession enhancement item if it provides appropriate stats instead of a general enchant.

  • Shoulders – Greater Crane Wing Inscription
  • Back – Enchant Cloak – Superior Intellect
  • Chest – Enchant Chest – Glorious Stats
  • Wrist – Enchant Bracer – Super Intellect
  • Hands – Enchant Gloves – Superior Mastery
  • Belt – Living Steel Belt Buckle
  • Legs – Greater Cerulean Spellthread
  • Feet – Enchant Boots – Pandaren’s Step
  • Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Jade Spirit
  • Off-Hand Weapon – Enchant Weapon – Major Intellect


There are quite a few good Elemental Shaman resources out there:

  • Totemspot, as you’d expect, has an extremely detailed and very reliable guide to Elemental in MoP.
  • Icy Veins has a well-written and thorough Elemental guide already updated to MoP
  • Finally, as a WoW player, you should really check out the latest and greatest from the blogosphere on World of Warcraft, here at the Melting Pot.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Saz September 1, 2012 at 5:23 am

The “Elemental Glyphs” section marked up as “Enha Glyphs” : P


Hugh Hancock September 1, 2012 at 10:41 am

Man, I swear the Copy-Paste fairy came in and switched all the headings around when I wasn’t looking! Thanks very much for the spot there.


Allan September 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm

Glyph of Unleased Lightning – causes your lightning bolts to take 5% longer to cast. Isn’t that a rather significant dps loss?


Hugh Hancock September 3, 2012 at 3:28 pm

It’s not going to be huge – Lightning Bolt is at the bottom of our priority tree, so you’ll probably be talking less than 1% on a totally static fight.

The reason I recommend it is that very few fights these days are totally static, and you only need to miss out on 1 in 20 LBolt casts thanks to movement to make up for the 5% casting speed loss.


Collected October 29, 2012 at 9:52 pm

I really like this. Simple, to the point and short. Tells you all you need to know. Thankyou.


Hugh Hancock October 29, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Cool! That’s exactly what it’s intended to do – thanks!


Scott Harrison November 23, 2012 at 12:42 am

Thankyou very much for a site with no bullshit. just the basic gameplay of toons.


Nooblette January 14, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Are there not any sites that are good for explaining stuff from the very beggining for people who are either new to W.o.W or new to the class all together and have “stupid” questions such as….”When do I actually need to start worrying about the stuff that was talked about on this site….and what do I need to worry about or learn about while I am leveling the character is there a certain level to get to before I need to worry about gear and stuff?” etc etc etc…where the noob is not getting trolled fifty dozen times over by people who are Jack Arses.


Hugh Hancock January 16, 2013 at 11:53 am

Check out our guides for new players – linked from the right hand bar!


jason June 5, 2013 at 10:03 pm

what about mastery? Ive been trying to decide for the hase or mastery build and so far mastery has been op . I am not sure if im doing all the talents right but in lfr Im leading dps normally on single tagets


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