It’s Patch [patchnumber] 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 [patchnumber]!
Updated [guideupdated] to WoW Patch [patchnumber]
Changes to Elemental Shamans in WoW Patch [patchnumber]
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.
- 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.
Elemental Shamans are more limited in glyphs than other specs in [patchnumber] – 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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Lord Rhyolith is a fiery giant, and one of the bosses of the Firelands raid. Sadly, when fighting Lord Rhyolith, ranged DPS don’t get the fun job of steering the boss around the room – instead you’ll be responsible for damaging the various adds that will spawn during the fight.
During the main phase of the fight, Rhyolith won’t be doing any direct damage to the raid. Instead, he’ll wander around the room under the subtle guidance of the melee DPS – read our guide to fighting Lord Rhyolith as melee DPS and our main article on Lord Rhyolith tactics to see how it works.
Lord Rhyolith actually has three unit frames – one for his body, and one for each of his feet. Although your main job is to DPS the adds rather than the boss, you may occasionally find yourself with some downtime, at which point you should feel free to hit Rhyolith. If your aim is just to damage him, always target his body, rather than his feet.
Your raid leader may occasionally require you to join the melee DPS in applying damage to one of Rhyolith’s feet – this is what steers him in a particular direction. You should only ever do damage to one of Rhyolith’s feet if specifically requested to do so. Make sure you’ve targetted the correct foot!
Rhyolith will summon adds approximately every 25 seconds. These adds will be either Fragments of Rhyolith (in which case 5 mobs will spawn at once), or Sparks of Rhyolith (in which case only one mob will spawn).
Sparks of Rhyolith throw out constant AoE damage, so your tank will move them away from the raid. You should DPS them down as soon as they appear. Sparks gain a stacking buff which increases the damage they do, but also increases the damage they receive – so the longer they’ve been active, the faster they’ll drop.
Fragments of Rhyolith do comparitively little damage, and should be taken down with AoE damage. The important job here is to make sure they die within 30 seconds of spawning. Any Fragment left alive after 30 seconds will rush at a random raid member and explode, doing some nasty damage. Fragments are priority targets over Sparks: they need to die, and die fast.
There’s fire on the ground. You know what to do.
Rhyolith will cast Concussive Stomp every 30 seconds. As well as dealing out some raid-wide damage, this ability will create volcanoes on the ground. Volcanoes will occasionally erupt, dealing fire damage which will be spread among the raid at random. When Lord Rhyolith steps on a volcano, it becomes a crater, and those are the things you really need to watch out for.
As soon as a crater is created, it will emit Lava streams. The streams will start at the crater and move outwards in all directions. Don’t get in the way – if you stand in a Lava stream it will do what fire does best and burn your feet off.
After 10 seconds, the streams will explode, doing damage to anybody stood in them. So, once again: do not stand in the fire. The streams don’t move very quickly, so as long as you’re paying attention you should be able to avoid them.
When a crater has finished spewing lava, it will become a lava pool – a pool of fire on the floor which you should, that’s right, not stand in.
Phase 2 begins when Rhyolith reaches 25% health. He’ll discard his armor, assume his true form (spoiler: his true form is fire), and attack the raid. Your job here is simply to DPS him as fast as you possibly can. He won’t summon any more adds, but there will probably still be fire on the ground, so watch your step. Rhyolith will be throwing out increasing amounts of damage, so the sooner he dies the more likely you are to be alive to witness it.
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Where’s the best place to be when fighting a spider? That’s right: as far away as possible. Which is why, when fighting the spider boss Beth’tilac, ranged DPS have the least arachnophobia-inducing job. Here’s our guide to defeating Beth’tilac as ranged DPS:
For this fight, as we detailed in our main Beth’tilac tactics guide, your raid will be split into two groups: one to stay on the ground level and one to climb up to Beth’tilac’s web level. As a ranged DPS, you’ll probably be assigned to the Ground Level Group (if you’re not, use the tactics for the Web Level Group from our guide to fighting Beth’tilac as melee DPS).
You’ll remain on the ground throughout the entirity of this fight. Your job is to handle the various adds that spawn. There are three types: Cinderweb Spinners, the smaller Cinderweb Spiderlings, and the big Cinderweb Drones.
You should spend the first phase of this fight in the southwest corner of the room. Stack up there as soon as you can. Your raid leader should have placed raid markers in each of the other three corners, and you will have been assigned a particular corner to focus on. You don’t need to worry about your assigned corner until Cinderweb Spiderlings start appearing (see below), but take a note of where it is right away.
At the start of the fight, Beth’tilac will move up to the web level, and Cinderweb Spinners will start to spawn. They’ll initially appear hanging from the bottom of Beth’tilac’s web, but they should be within range of your attacks immediately. Start DPS on the Spinners as soon as they appear.
More spinners will appear each time Beth’tilac casts Smoldering Devastation. You should repeat the same process each time they appear: DPS them down as fast as you’re able.
Watch out for the webs that Spinners occasionally throw out. Once a player becomes encased in a web, she’ll be unable to perform any action until she’s freed. Switch to targeting webbed players as soon as they get caught, especially if it’s a healer or a tank.
The Ground Floor Group tank will grab the Drones when they appear. You’ll need to DPS them down quite quickly – they have an energy bar just like Beth’tilac, and if it runs out before they die, they’ll head up to the web level to steal energy from Beth’tilac instead, which is not a good thing.
Make sure not to stand in front of the Cinderweb Drones. One of their attacks is a cone attack which will really give you a headache if you’re caught in it.
This is your time to shine. Your most important job in this fight is to deal with these little critters. The Spiderlings will spawn from each corner of the room except for the southwest corner (where you should be stood). Remember your assigned corner, and go spank those spiders. You should use a combination of AoE damage and slowing abilities to slow the Spiderlings down and damage them in place. If any Spiderlings reach a Cinderweb Drone, the Drone will be healed.
When Beth’tilac decends from the web level to the ground, Phase 2 begins. The aim here, as with most burn phases, is to kill her before her damage becomes too much for the tanks and healers to deal with. If you’ve saved your burst DPS cooldowns and trinkets for this phase, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem taking her down before she manages to brew up an entire potful of Tank Soup.
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The first boss you’re likely to encounter in the Firelands raid is Shannox. Ranged DPS have an easier job in this fight than healers or tanks, but it can still be a little tricky to figure out the mechanics of this fight.
First of all, take a look over our guide to Shannox tactics to give you a good idea of Shannox tactics. You’ll see that your primary job is to avoid traps, and your secondary job is to focus DPS on your assigned target.
You’ll most likely have two tanks for this fight – one on Shannox himself, and one on Riplimb. Rageface (Shannox’s other dog) can’t be tanked and is going to be a constant pain in the neck for you throughout this fight – perhaps even literally.
Once the tanks have positioned Shannox and Riplimb, spread out. The healers will be doing the same, so coordinate your position relative to the rest of the raid.
Your raid leader will assign a DPS target for you. This is most likely to be Riplimb, but you may be asked to DPS Shannox instead. Either way, this target will be your sole target for most of the fight – there’s very little target switching required.
Don’t stand in the … well, you get the idea
Your primary task during this fight is to avoid the traps that Shannox regularly drops. This takes priority over everything, even DPS. The traps in this fight look like standard Hunter traps, and are easy to spot.
There are two types of trap. The first is an Immolation Trap, which will burn your lovely shoes right off if you stand in it. It’s not an instant kill, but it throws out some nasty damage, and you’ll have a ‘fire hurts more’ debuff at various points during the fight, so be nice to your healers and don’t stand on the fire traps.
The second type of trap is called a Crystal Prison Trap, and is basically an ice-block. Stand on this nasty little device and it’ll encase you in crystal. You won’t be able to do anything at all until the crystal is shattered. That means that the rest of the raid will have to stop what they’re doing and DPS your prison to free you. The crystals have lots of health, so this is a distraction you don’t need.
There’s another fight mechanic which effectively counts as a third type of trap. When Shannox throws his spear he’ll do colossal damage to anybody standing in the way. If you’re standing in the circle of fire once the spear comes down you’re virtually guaranteed to die. It’s easy to avoid – just look out for the big pillar of fire and make sure you step away from it as soon as it appears.
The secondary effect of Shannox’s spear throw is lots of little fires that appear on the ground after the spear throw triggers. There’ll be a lot of them, which can be quite panic-inducing the first time you see it, but – like the spear throw itself – they’re easy to avoid. They appear in a spiral pattern, moving outwards from the spear’s point of impact. Just make sure you’re not standing directly on one of them. They don’t have any AoE effect, so there’s no need to run right out of the spiral. Just move away from the individual fires.
The ‘hitting things’ part
Once you’re confident in your trap-avoidance skills, the actual DPS mechanics of this fight are pretty easy. Keep up sustained DPS on your assigned target, and watch the health meters of all three opponents. You’re aiming to kill both dogs when Shannox is on about 35% health.
Once the dogs are dead, Shannox will enrage and start doing very unpleasant things to your poor tanks. This is a classic burn phase, so DPS like a loon. Your big DPS cooldowns should all be saved for this phase. With a bit of luck, you should be able to take Shannox down before he turns the tanks into liquid smears of shame.
If your single-target DPS is particularly hard-hitting, your raid leader may assign you to hit Rageface instead of Riplimb. Rageface can’t be tanked, and will regularly pick a random raid member to be mean to. Once Rageface has picked his target the only way to distract him is giving him a firm, hard smack on the nose. In this case, the smack needs to take the form of a 30k crit. Unless and until Rageface receives 30,000 points of damage from a single blow, he’ll continue to maul the poor unfortunate soul he’s targeted. Luckily, while he’s doing so he gains a debuff which makes each shot that lands on him much more likely to be a critical.
If you’ve been assigned to Rageface-distraction duty, your job is to hit him with a high-damage strike as soon as he picks a new target. After that, you can kite him until he picks a new target, then repeat the process.
When Shannox throws his spear, Riplimb will grab it and run back to Shannox to return it. If you have any slowing abilities, this is the time to use them. Riplimb can be slowed, and doing so will really help your tanks.
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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.
Arcanum of Hyjal
Greater Inscription of Charged Lodestone
Enchant Cloak – Greater Intellect
Enchant Chest – Peerless Stats
Enchant Bracer – Mighty Intellect
Enchant Gloves – Greater Mastery
Ebonsteel Belt Buckle
Powerful Ghostly Spellthread
Enchant Boots – Precision or Mastery
Enchant Weapon – Power Torrent
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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