Monday, 25 May 2009

Ulduar Gear Guide: 10 Man Version

Well, I am now on break and lapping up the newly-achieved lack of stress. I was going to have the Lightning Overload post ready to go, but it is considerably more difficult than I first thought as there is some awkward things to consider with Elemental Oath in the mix. I will hopefully have that good to go really soon, but in the meantime I have felt guilty in neglecting you all so here is a new gear guide for the more experienced shaman that are running Ulduar 10, boss by boss. A 25 man will more than likely be on the way in the near future too:

Flame Leviathan:




Assembly of Iron:







General Vesax:


Algalon the Observer:

This is difficult to do, as there is still new items being discovered off this guy every week (Thanks Ensidia!). WoWWiki has a good loot table that is being updated as stuff becomes available, and MMOChamp usually posts new discoveries. I will update this at a later date to reflect when we are more confident everything has been discovered. If you are killing this guy I am surprised you are reading my blog because this is beyond what I am doing!

Hope you get something out of this guide. Again, sorry for the lack of posts recently.


Edit (July 2, 2009): Mainly cosmetic, added appropriate Epic colours and square brackets. Added Algalon loot table. Removed unnecessary commentary. Added notes in place of commentary where I deemed necessary. Minor spelling corrections.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Yogg-Saron Downed

Bit of a vanity post, but finally got Yogg-Saron down tonight. Funnily enough, it was on the same night as another guild did too so we are equal second on the server I guess.

Anyways, there will be more posts soon! I have just one more final left and I will be doing a nice interesting one about the Lightning Overload buff and have plans to do a Ulduar gear guide in the near future also.

Happy Raiding,


Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Welcome to the Big Leagues: A Gear Guide for fresh 80's

So you have just hit 80 with your elemental shaman (or have made the switch from enhancement and have no gear), have got a grasp of the class and how it is played and want to start sinking your teeth into playing. What you need now is some fresh epics to compliment your desire and get you doing some healthy DPS numbers.

This is a relatively simple crash course guide which is as much a learning experience for me as it is for you. I have compiled a list of readily available gear that can get you a set that is cut out for your first 10-mans and, although not recommended, not too shabby for a pug 25. Searching through the three most simple sources: Reputation Rewards, the Emblem of Heroism Vendor and Heroics, I have compiled by slot and tried to add a couple of options for each in case a certain item is not easily obtainable to you. I have also marked my personal preference's with a *.

Note that this is not a complete list of every possible piece of gear. I left out a large amount of resto gear with mp5 and cloth and leather gear with spirit. Do not use this as a be-all and end-all guide to your first gear!
















  • Totem of the Elemental Plane - 15 Badges of Heroism (Note: This totem is pretty shabby, but decent enough when you first hit 80. The Totem of the Void from The Mechanar in Outlands and Venture Co. Lightning Rod which is available to purchase with Venture Coins in Grizzly Hills are fine subsitutes, but make sure you stive for Totem of Hex which can as of 3.1 be purchased with Emblems of Valor. It puts the other 3 to shame!)

I must apologize for not posting in the last few days, I am in the middle of exams and working out my plans for this summer so needless to say I have been pretty stressed out with not much time to spare. Posts will start becoming more regular as we get into summer. I hope you can gain some use out of this guide. Enjoy!


Saturday, 9 May 2009

Summing it up...

Just a quick note: At the end of my posts I will generally (if it makes sense to) include a summary of the most important points if you don't want to trudge through the details and trust my word enough to accept it. For those of you in a hurry. An example:

  • Summaries are short and useful recaps of important stuff



Hit Rating

Almost certainly the most asked question I get (and those who follow the Shaman official WoW Forum will agree) is regarding hit and how much we need. As I tend to do with this blog I will go a little bit into the background of the topic so you aren't simply taking everything I say as fact.

Hit rating relates to the chance our spells have to hit our target. The more we increase our hit rating, the better the likely hood our spell will hit. This stat is essential to us because missing with our spells will drastically reduce our damage output.

It is possible to be 'capped' with hit, in that we can have enough hit rating to achieve 100% chance to hit our target. We have base levels of hit that are related to our target's level in relation to our own level; we have a 96% base chance to hit something of our own level (ie. if I am a level 80 attacking a level 80 target). The vast majority of the bosses we will be face with in raid situation will be level 83, which means we have a 83% chance to hit them (the fact that these two numbers are the same is purely coincidence). WoWWiki has a convenient little table if you would like to see what your chances of hitting a target of a certain level compared to you are (

So we as PvE elemental shaman will be facing level 83 bosses that we have an 83% chance to hit. Therefore we have some 17% hit that we must make up ourselves, and this can be achieved in a number of ways. Most classes have talents in their trees to help make up this hit and we are no exception. Elemental Precision, found on the 5th tier of the elemental tree, gives us 3% hit right off the bat. This talent should ALWAYS be completely specced into as this is a huge benefit for us; more on talent tree speccing will be coming later. We are now at 14% chance to miss that we must account for.

A huge benefit for all us Draenei Shamen is that our racial buff, Heroic Presence, offers us an additional 1% hit (as well as to all our group members). This is nice as it reduces the amount of hit we need to make up from gear/gems/enchants.

So time for a bit of math. We have to make up 14% (or 13% for Draenei) with our hit rating stat. We require 26.232 hit rating for 1% hit at level 80 (again, so the calculations are as follows:

Horde: 14 x 26.232 = 367.248 (368)
Alliance: 13 x 26.232 = 341.016 (342)

Now one important note: If you have a Balance Druid or a Shadow Priest in your raid/group they will most likely have the talents Improved Faerie Fire or Misery. These are a debuff that, when cast on a target, increase the chance of spells cast at said enemy to hit by an additional 3%. This means that we can have a large reduction to our required hit when raiding with either of these classes (Note: these DO NOT stack for a 6% reduction, however nice that may be). Our calculations are now:

Horde: 11 x 26.232 = 288.552 (289)
Alliance: 10 x 26.232 = 262.32 (263)

Most raiding elemental shaman will consider this additional 3% as given as most raids will have a Moonkin or Shadow Priest in their ranks, and sit at this lower hit value. I cannot guarantee that you will have that luxury however, so make sure you confirm that your raid has this! Also, not all of the Shadow Priests or Moonkins will have specced into this talent so again, make sure you know before you settle with the lower cap.

In summary:

Horde Hit Cap (alone): 368
Horde Hit Cap (with a Moonkin or Shadow Priest): 289
Alliance Hit Cap (by itself): 342
Alliance Hit Cap (with a Moonkin or Shadow Priest): 263

In the coming posts I will post a quick guide on how to get hit capped quickly one you have hit 80.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Understanding Stats

Elemental Shaman are casters. We cast spells that do damage to the enemy: Lightning Bolts and Lava Bursts and alike. It is the most important thing for us to make these spells as powerful as they can be and we achieve this by stats. All the gear you wear contributes to your stats.

The two tabs most that contain all the stats and numbers I am referring to are located under the Base Stats and Spell tabs on your armory page and in-game on your gear page.

Base Stats:
The majority of the gear we wear will have Armor, Stamina and Intellect and to a lesser extent Spirit. Armor and Stamina is not of much concern to us as they only affect how much of a beating we can take. In PvE we should not be tanking (shammy-tanking may be talked about later down the road but don't hold your breath) or taking much direct damage at all, so never aim to increase these stats. If you gear yourself reasonably these will always be at a healthy level.

Intellect (Int) is the only base stat that will directly affect your damage output. Firstly, and most importantly, Intellect will determine your mana pool. Mana is used to cast your spells and as such more mana = more spell casts available before you need to refresh. Every point of Intellect = 15 mana. Intellect also affects some of your spell stats: 1 Int = 0.00602% Crit Chance, or in a more user friendly form 166 Int = 1% Crit. Intellect also boosts your Mana Regeneration. Mana Regen. is commonly referred to as mp5 (Mana regenerated every 5 seconds), and is not really useful for us elementals as we generally have plenty of mana due to various abilities and features of our talent trees that provide us with abundant amounts of mana.

Finally, Spirit is sometimes attached to gear we will use. Spirit increases health and mana regeneration rates. This stat is awful for us in that, unlike almost every other caster class, we have absolutely no benefit from spirit. It should be avoided wherever possible; If you are wearing any gear with this keep your eyes peeled for comparable gear without this wasted stat as there is usually a better alternative out there.

Spell Stats:
Increasingly with top-end gear there will be 'green stats' or 'equip bonuses' on your gear (found under the base stats and all that other junk, preceded with the word Equip:). These will directly affect your spell stats.

Bonus Damage is the key stat that increases the amount of damage every spell does when it hits an enemy. It will be listed as spell power on your gear (ie. Equip: Increases spell power by x). This is a hugely important stat for us! As you become increasingly geared and we get to gemming and enchanting we will aim to increase this stat as much as possible. This spell power stat also increases your bonus healing which increases the amount every heal does, but this is only important for restos.

Hit Rating is the chance you will hit your target when you cast a spell. We can 'cap' this stat, meaning we have a 100% chance to hit our target. I will talk about this stat in the coming posts as I need a whole post to explain the calculations. Until we are capped this is by far our most important stat.

Crit chance, mentioned briefly earlier, is the chance we will deliver a critically damaging strike to our target. Critical Strikes (or simply 'crits') deal 150% damage. This stat is valuable to us as inherent talents in our tree make crits help conserve mana, and the bonus damage is pretty nice too!

Finally, haste rating increases the speed at which we can cast our spells. More spells = more damage, so this is pretty valuable to us. Back in the Burning Crusade expansion lots of top end elementals would stack this stat, although it is now not as beneficial.

So, in summary:
  • Armor and Stamina increase survivability.
  • Intellect increases mana pool; mp5 and crit to an extent.
  • Spirit is bad!
  • Spell power increases bonus damage, meaning more damage with every hit.
  • Hit increases chance our spell will hit their target.
  • Crit increases the chance we deal a critical strike.
  • Haste increases the speed of our spell casting.

This concludes my basic overview of the stats you will see in your various elemental gear. These numbers will be used repeatedly in this blog as they control how good we can be.

For further info about these stats, check out WoWWiki (link in sidebar). They are a great resource for understanding all these numbers.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

First Things First: An Overview of the Class

A good place to start is with an overview of Elemental Shaman; and as such Shaman as a whole:

Shaman are the spiritual leaders of their tribes and clans. They are masters of the elements, using spells and totems that heal or enhance their allies in battle while unleashing the fury of the elements upon their foes.

Shaman come in three varieties: Restoration, Enhancement and, of course, Elemental. We as elementals are a damage dealing spec that most closely aligns with casters such as Moonkins (a.k.a. Balance Druids) and Mages. Casting lightning (nature) and lava (fire) spells are our mainstay for dealing damage to our enemies. We are a hybrid class, and are arguably the best off-healers in the game which increases our value in group or raid situations.
The Shaman class is orientated around its buffing ability; ours being particularly unique in that we use totems. These are area of effect (commonly shortened to simply 'AoE') buffs that are not cast on our targets like the majority of other buffs, but rather given as an aura-like effect that radiates from the totems we place in our locale. We can place a maximum of 4 totems down at any one time, one from each element under our influence. These are Fire, Air, Water and Earth. As elemental shaman we are offered the powerful Totem of Wrath that makes our role particularly valuable in a raid situation. At max rank, this fire totem provides additional Spell Power to all members of the raid (considerably more than that offered by the similar Flametongue Totem which is generic to all Shaman specs), as well as providing a debuff to all enemies within a 40 yard radius.

There is a plethora of other topics I could talk about in this one post, but for now this will conclude the overview. As we continue with this blog there will be a greater understanding of what makes elemental shaman individual and I may feel the urge to edit this post accordingly. I know for many of the readers this post will be redundant and I appreciate your patience. I am attempting to cater to all levels of experience and knowledge with my posting and felt a initial summary post was necessary.
Next up, we will delve into stats and what they mean in relation to us.
- Puut


Hey all, this is my first post so I will just let you guys know what this is all about. I'm Dan, posting as my WoW character 'Puut'; I'm an elemental shaman on the Moonrunner US server. I wanted to start this blog after my close friend and housemate showed me Gray Matter (, a great blog for Balance Druids (which he plays). I thought the idea was great and decided us elemental shaman could use something similar.

My plan is to assist those rolling elemental shaman with gaining a better understanding of the class. I plan to cover everything from rotation and speccing, glyphing, gear guides and some math in order to develop an understanding as to why numbers are what they are. As a fairly regular WoW-forum browser ( I will also try to keep you informed on the latest happenings with our beloved class.

I am excited to see how this goes and I thank you all for reading!
- Puut
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Puut'n It Down: The Elemental Shaman Blog by Puut is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.