WoW Cataclysm Elemental Shaman

Elemental shamans were once the lightning-based talent specialization of this unusual, totemic class of World of Warcraft, but major revisions to the class has shifted their focus to fire and lava effects instead. Lightning is now more the purview of enhancement shamans, thanks to their ability to cast this spell instantly with a five-stack of Maelstrom Weapon buffs.

Elemental shaman damage is now heavily based around the pairing of Flame Shock and Lava Burst, two spells with a built in synergy that works perfectly for this spec of the shaman class. Flame Shock should be applied first, since the presence of a Flame Shock damage over time debuff on the target will cause any Lava Burst aimed at that target to cause an automatic critical hit. In effect, keeping Flame Shock up on your target at all times doubles the damage of Lava Burst. Lava Burst should be cast as often as possible – it is the backbone of your character’s damage rotation.

Lightning Bolt is now a filler spell that is used whenever nothing more useful is available, just in order to keep casting. Earthquake, an area of effect spell, had dubious utility to begin with and has recently been reduced in effectiveness even further, so it should only be cast when monsters or other opponents are positioned correctly for it be effective. The Thunderstorm spell, which has a knockback effect, is mostly useful either while leveling solo – to keep dangerous melee opponents at arm’s length – or in PvP, to clear rogues, warriors, and other riffraff away from your shaman (hopefully over the edge of a convenient, nearby cliff).

Endgame characters all need to pay attention to the statistic priority for their specific class and talent specialization, and a WoW Cataclysm elemental shaman has very different needs from the other specs of this class. The first priority for a PvE-oriented elemental shaman is Hit Rating, to ensure that your character’s spells hit their target and cause the high DPS that will ensure you a place in heroic dungeons and, more especially, the highly competitive area of raids.

You should stack Hit until the spell hit cap of 17% is reached. Note that Spirit is now equivalent to Hit for elemental shamans, making Spirit gear useful for them as well as for Restoration shamans. If you dual spec into Restoration, then you can get extra mileage out of your character’s gear by using it for both specializations.

Intellect, with its boost to your mana pool’s size and its spellpower increase, is the next stat after Hit Rating and/or Spirit to prioritize when selecting endgame gear. Haste is next in priority, followed by Mastery and Crit. Last of all – filling any gaps, but preferably reforged into a more useful form – is more Hit, or more Spirit if Hit Rating is not available.