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Caperfin's Guide to Elemental Shaman
by Caperfin • 18th June 2019

Hi, my name is Caperfin and welcome to my guide! For a long time there's been some negative stigma surrounding shaman dps World of Warcraft, many players don't consider them optimal sources of damage and not worth a second look. However, this stigma is typically fueled by misinformation or players refusing to go the extra mile to make it work and much rather give up halfway and play something else.

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In the past, when the topic of shamans are brought up in PvE the default immediate thought is to talked about a healing shaman. And the legitimacy of a shaman dealing a significant amount of damage in PvE as a caster was disregarded. However, with a game that has been theorycrafted for over a decade this dated notion has now been buried with the advent of modern tools.
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Introduction
Race
Profession
Buffs Debuffs
Mana-gement
Gear + Enchants
Talents
Totems
Spells
Rotations

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Before continuing, its important to remember you are not only going a certain route but also playing a class that demands a great deal of effort for players to recognize. A elemental shaman in a raid has the ability to not only provide a decent amount of personal damage but also the capability of supporting other teammates.

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Races play a big part as we are grasping for any amount of extra efficiency possible. Shamans are exclusive to the Horde and are available to three races: Orc, Tauren and Troll. This section will talk about the most popular and efficient race for our goals. Next, lets see the most beneficial race within the Horde. As previously mentioned, we are gifted with three possible races: Orc, Troll and Tauren but sadly our bovine and green brutish friends don't yield any racial benefits. Therefore, our eyes are mostly set on Troll. Lets breakdown Troll just to see how they are the ideal race to pick.

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Troll
Throwing/Bow Specialization: Skill with Throwing/Bow Weapons increased by 5.
Regeneration: Health regeneration rate increased by 10%. 10% of total Health regeneration may continue during combat.
Beast Slaying: Damage dealt versus Beasts increased by 5%.
https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=20554/berserking: Increases your casting and attack speed by 10% to 25%. At full health the speed increase is 10% with...

What does this mean?: Going Troll is the optimal race for dealing as much damage as possible on a target, they especially excel on bosses categorized as beasts.

Other Races

If you are dead set on going Tauren or Orc, go ahead. This isn't to say you should be forced to play a certain race, rather that you should be aware of the differences and make the according decision that aligns with your preferences.




Nature Damage in WoW

As a point of reference, anything that resembles an elemental (noticeable in MC) will have a rather high resistance to nature damage. All the Dragons of Nightmare found in the outside world are also immune to nature damage or tend to have the same kind of lofty resistance to nature that they do to fire (server dependent). The same applies for some creatures in: AQ, ZG and Naxx. Basically, if an environment has a disease or poison theme, expect nature damage to be hampered. Here is a chart to better explain the notion. Do not fret, there are items to counter this unfortunate downside, ex: , and the debuff that originates from among pieces of gear which decrease the magical resistance of the boss.

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During the harsh and lengthy process of leveling, select Herbalism and Alchemy. A valid case can be made for also having a lvl 5 alt stationed permanently in a major city to disenchant unwanted items through mail and store items at a bank for later use. Back to the subject at hand, herbalism contributes convenient reagents for alchemy and a strong source of revenue for our eventual endgame professions. It also prevents players from spending an exorbitant portion of time pestering strangers in Orgrimmar to craft potions. The objective is straightforward, gather a substantial supply of gold and a bank chock-full of fruitful potions the raid might need.
Down below are a few notable potions:

http://classic.wowhead.com/item=21546
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13452
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13445
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=17708
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13453
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=20007
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=3825
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=3387
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=18253
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13446
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13444
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13510
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=8956
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=9088

Next, I advise dropping Herbalism once the quantity of gold in one’s bags is overflowing and adopt the late game profession: engineering to scoop up a few useful tools, such as:

http://classic.wowhead.com/item=10725
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=10646
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=18232
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=16022
http://classic.wowhead.com/item=16005

Finally, for secondary professions, I urge grabbing all of them as they all provide valuable assets. In terms of fishing, you can farm those elusive Stonescale Eels that are highly contested after for Flask of the Titans. First aid grants bandages for healing that don't require any mana to use.
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As you probably know a character can have a theoretical cap of 32 beneficial buffs. The limit may differ from server to server or what is acknowledged as a buff. Also, some buffs are unobtainable due to certain patch restrictions or unable to stack with others. On a side note, I suggest installing NirkBuffRemover/NBR and Buffalo to help with overall buff management and ease of mind. Down below is a table of relevant buffs, separated into sub groups to better highlight their usefulness. Although, there is no strict order, you should still prioritize getting world buffs before obtaining other buffs.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=22888: +140 Attack power, +10% spell crit & +5% melee.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=23768: 10% damage. (A damage version of this buff also exists)

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=22589: +2% Spell crit to all party members within 30 yards. (Does not stack with Moonkin Aura)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=22820: +3% Spell Crit.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=24858: +3% Spell Crit.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=7764: +10 Intellect for 30 min.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13937: +20 Intellect.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10157: +31 Intellect.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13511: +2000 mana for 2 hr. You can only have the effect of one flask at a time.

      https://classic.wowhead.com/item=3387/l ... ity-potion: Immune to physical attacks for 6 sec. (Also, prevent any threat generation for its duration)

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=20079: +50 Stamina, +50 spirit.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=27841: +40 spirit for 30 min.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16609: +15% Melee Haste, +300 Hp, 10 mana regen every 5 seconds.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10497: +10 mana every 2 sec.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=20007: +12 mana per 5 sec.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=29166: Increases Mana regen by 400% for 20 sec.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=20748: +12 mana per 5 seconds. (Although, an enchant, it appears in the temporary weapon buff slot.)

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13512: +150 damage done by magical spells & effects for 2 hr. Only 1 flask effect can be active at a time.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=13454: +20 dmg dealt from spells & abilities.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=29534: +5% dmg to melee, range and spell damage dealt.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10060: The target receives +20% spell damage & healing for 15 sec.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=15366: Increases a melee, ranged, or spell to crit by 5%, +15 all stats.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=17774: 2% chance when struck in combat of increasing all stats by 25 for 1 min.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=24425: +10 move speed, +15 all stats.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=9885: +384 armor, +162 all attributes,+270 all resistance.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=21546: Increases spell fire damage by up to 40 for 30 min.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=8733: Increases intellect and spirit by 5 and frost damage done by 15.


Mind Control Buffs

I wouldn't be thorough if I didn't mention the wonderful world of Mind Control buffing. Refer to my video to learn more about Mind Control Buffing:




Special Event Buffs

On an ending note for buffs, we can also get buffs from special events/holidays. An example, is The Midsummer Fire Festival a seasonal event that celebrates the hottest season of the year. It starts on the (earthly) northern summer solstice, and lasts about two weeks (mid-late June to early July, usually). The next ones are Love is in the Air, Lunar Festival, Wickerman Festival and Scourge Invasion that all feature some useful buffs for dealing damage. It is possible for the Love is in the Air Capital Gift Collection buffs to be stacked with each other, ask around to find out its exact limits. The following buffs are separated by their event.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=22131: Increases Intellect by 30 for 1 hour.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=22134: Increases Intellect by 30 for 1 hour.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=23326: Increases damage done from spells by up to 23 for 1 hr.
      https://www.wowhead.com/spell=45444: 30% chance to deal 60 Fire dmg on any melee, ranged, or spell attack. (works outside only)
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=29338: Increases critical strike percent and spell critical strike percent by 3% for 1 hr.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=22238: Increases damage done from spells by up to 23 for 1 hr.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=26035: +10% to all stats for 30min.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=26393: All stats increased by 10% for 1hr.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=24705: Increase health & mana regeneration by 25% and Stamina by 25%.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=28681: Increases all damage caused by 10% for 30 minutes.

In conclusion, let's compile all of the buffs we have seen.
Here is a screenshot of the best buffs, we can get for our means: https://i.ibb.co/K7XR4Rh/dgdfgjh.png
Here is a screenshot of realistic buffs, we can get for our means: https://i.ibb.co/JsKTk7T/dfsdfwe.png

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Having as many debuffs on the boss as possible is of paramount importance to dealing damage. Therefore, our interests are heavily tied to the release of patch 1.7, due to its extra 8 debuff slots introduction totaling to 16 debuffs. All debuffs on the list below benefit us in damage and are assumed to be at their maximum rank/talent improvement.
DebuffsShow
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=19019: Periodically deal 300 Nature dmg & jumping to 5 nearby enemies. Each jump       reduces the victim's Nature resistance by 25. The primary target is consumed by a cyclone, slowing attack speed by 20% for 12 sec.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=9088: If an enemy strikes the imbiber, the attacker has a 30% chance of being inflicted with disease that increases dmg       taken by 8 for 3 min. Lasts 30 min.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=17364: Gives you an extra attack. In addition, the next 2 sources of Nature damage dealt to the target are increased by 20%.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/item=19169: Spell damage taken by target increased by 15% for 5 sec.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=28595: Gives your Frost damage spells a 100% chance to apply the Winter's Chill effect, which increases the chance a Frost       spell will critically hit the target by 2% for 15 sec. Stacks up to 5 times.

      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=12873: Scorch has a 100% chance to cause your target to be vulnerable to Fire damage. This vulnerability increases       the Fire damage dealt to the target by 3% and lasts 30 sec. Stacks up to 3 times.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16536 (Arcanite Dragonling): Inflicts Fire damage to an enemy and increases the Fire damage it takes by 40 for 45 sec.       Stacks 5 times. (The numbers in the toolitp are possibly not exact)

Mana-gement

When elemental shamans are talked about, they are often associated with going out of mana quickly. However, this is an outdated notion involving a lack of information or commitment from players to rectify. This isn't to say they never run out of mana, but rather that it is greatly exaggerated. Of course, the shorter a boss fight the better. Below is a list of mana regenerative items, you should look to acquire.

In order of granted mana:
      https://classic.wowhead.com/item=13444 grants a good chunk of mana and drops throughout the world quite often.
      https://classic.wowhead.com/item=18253 quite expansive but also grants health.
      https://classic.wowhead.com/item=12662 converts health into mana.
      https://classic.wowhead.com/item=14894 is created from a neck item and saves on time, money, etc… (the single root will disappear after 1hr.)
      https://classic.wowhead.com/item=11952 takes care of mana & health. Very easy to acquire so get a large amount and place them in the bank.

As you familiarize yourself with a fight and the limits of your raiding partners, it will come intuitively what is the best to use. Its worth mentioning some items don't share a cooldown, thus can follow each other in quick succession.

Here are the two different cooldown categories:
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My personal recommendation is to have a diverse pool of the items featured in this section to cater to any situation that might arise. Not only are there items that can help with mana but also Buffs that we previously looked at. Later on in this guide we will explore Totems and downranking spells in Rotation to further aid with mana management.

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Unfortunately, the gear we desire is also desired by other casters. Therefore, I suggest acquiring this type of gear while assuming the role of a healing restoration shaman in the raid. However, I will still provide a comprehensive gear list for all phases. Down below is a url to a spreadsheet with a plethora of options for proper gearing.
Gear SpreadsheetShow
Enchants similar to gear need to be tailored for our purposes.
Enchant SpreadsheetShow
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For the sake of generality and simplicity these talents setups assume a server between patch 1.9 - 1.12 and taking part in a serious guild who are confidently clearing raids. There is only 1 talent setup for elemental. (Technically, there is another but it involves being in melee and swinging a weapon and borders on too much of an enhancement playstyle thus deserving its own guide.)
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https://classicdb.ch/?talent#hEzuVbMqoZVoez0x The defaul talent-build that is commonly used by most elemental shamans. Once you regularly, acquire a high amount of spell crit from buffs, a point is withdrawn from Elemental Fury and placed in Nature Swiftness. However, most people prefer the point in Nature Swiftness from the get go as an emergency healing button to alleviate stress from healers.


Against nature immune targets, a whole entire different playstyle, talents setup, buff, etc... comes into fruition. A link will be provided to an entirely different guide shortly.

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We’ll be asking our shamanistic brothers from the restoration side to land a hand in optimizing totem utility, so be considerate and compliment each others strengths within the group. Each individual totem listed below is in order of importance per category. Keep in mind, there can only be one type of totem per shaman so having another totem slave in the group is largely welcomed. Also the handful totems in our stockpile have different durations

      Earth
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10408: Generally is used if you happen to be in the tank raid group, which should not be the case.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25361: Usually, placed by a healing shaman with the talent: http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16295
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10428: Diverts loose mobs off your tail and quickly allows readjusting of a target's positioning.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=8143: Mainly a situational totem to use when a boss encounter has fear, charm and sleep mechanics.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=2484: A tool for kiting/running possible unbound trash in an instance.

      Fire
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10438: Fire totems are seen are luxury. All fire totems are capable of criting, scale with spellpower & Flame Buffet.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=11315: Ideal for bursting down low hp adds on encounters.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10587: Continuous fire damage.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10479: Beneficial for fights involving high doses of frost damage.

      Air
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25359: A priority totem within the air types that should be taken seriously.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10614: We are rarely in melee range, if not ever.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10601: Advantageous for fights involving high doses of nature damage, such as: Ahn’Qiraj.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=25908: Every raid group has a fellow totem putting down this totem, avoid dropping in the tank group within a raid.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=8177: Useful for redirecting ranged spells from susceptible mobs and bosses.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=15112: Unfortunately, doesn't see much utility in most fights.

      Water
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10497: It should be put by a resto shaman witin our group with http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=16208.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=17359: A totem placed in our group originating from a talent ability by a healing resto shaman.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10463: Put by a resto shaman with Restorative Totems. In this scenario, return the favor by placing a regular MST.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=8166: Indispensable on fights with high poison output, ex: AQ bosses.
      https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=8184: Pragmatic for fights involving high amounts of fire damage, ex MC.
      http://classic.wowhead.com/spell=8170: Unfortunately, rarely sees the light of day.
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World of Warcraft as a default only offers a few action bars to players, so consider installing an addon to increase the numbers of action bars available. Also, I suggest installing an addon that displays the bosses resistances. Totems are not included in this section.

https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=15208 Rank10: The most commonly casted spell within our toolkit. https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=15207/lightning-bolt Rank9: is used if Elemental Focus fails to proc after 3-4 casts of the previous spell.

https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10605: The second most commonly casted spell within our toolkit with a costly mana tax to it.

https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=29228: Used, if Flame Buffet among other fire related buff/debuffs are active. (situational, see Rotations.)

https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10473: Used, if the target is dying in less than 2.5 seconds. (situational, see Rotations.)

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The following rotation will assume a simple tank-spank boss with very minimal or no nature resistance allowing our totemic friend to freely cause havoc unhindered. The following rotation is split into several sections to better highlight the course of action. Naturally, if you are unable to accomplish certain aspects of the rotation, simply weed out what you can.


Pre-Pull: Before the raid starts, make sure you are fully buffed and the appropriate totems are place on the ground. Equip 3 pieces of https://classic.wowhead.com/item-set=501 and attack a https://classic.wowhead.com/item=5052/u ... us-dig-rat by casting Rank1 Lightning Bolt on the rat to proc the tier set nature effect. Its also possible to cast Rank1 Lightning Bolt on the rat to trigger Elemental Focus (a mage can https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=12825/polymorph the rat, until either effects trigger.) If you are unaware of the rat item, refer to the Dig rat video and Doomguard video on how to take advantage of these weird items.

The moment the tank initiate combat with the boss, proceed with the following.

Pulling: Cast max rank Lightning Bolt and just before the bolt hits the boss, activate Limited Invulnerability Potion, all the while moving forward until 20 yards from the boss. Immediately, follow it up with Chain Lightning. At this point, all damage increasing buffs should be on the boss.

Combat: If Garb's effect is not active, cast Rank1 Lightning Bolt until it procs, once it does then activate https://classic.wowhead.com/item=18820 and cast Chain Lightning every time its off cooldown, otherwise cast Lightning Bolt until the end of the trinket's duration.

Throughout a fight:
Do you have good gear, buffs and mana regenerative items? (refer to GEAR to value your gear)

Yes: Cast Chain Lightning when Garb procs. Otherwise, continuously cast Rank10 Lightning Bolt.
  - If Garb procs but Chain Lightning just went on cooldown, cast Lightning Bolt.
  - If Garb procs but Chain Lightning is coming off cooldown in 0.5 sec, wait the 0.5 sec to cast Chain Lightning.
  - If below 18% mana and Elemental Focus procs then cast Chain Lightning, otherwise cast Rank10 https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=15208, if Elemental Focus     fails to proc after 3-4 casts, Rank8 https://classic.wowhead.com/spell=10392/lightning-bolt is used until Elemental Focus is procced which is used to either cast Chain     Lightning if active, if not Rank10 Lightning Bolt.

No: Cast Chain Lightning when Garb and Elemental Focus both proc at the same time. Otherwise, cast Rank9 Lightning Bolt.
  - If after 4 casts of Rank9 Lightning Bolt fails to trigger Elemental Focus, cast Rank8 twice and repeat.

Situational:
  - If Power Infusion is cast on you for a certain portion of a fight, prioritize casting Chain Lightning above all. (Preferably, get this buff within     3-4 seconds into a fight)
  - In the same fashion, synergize your trinket activation with Garb proc, cast Chain Lightning followed by a Nature Swiftness, triggered by     Lightning Bolt.
  - If at any point in the boss fight a constant application of Flame Buffet alongside other similar fire effects are applied, Flame Shock will be     casted when Chain Lightning is on cooldown. (Preferably, Flame Buffet should be applied in the pulling phase alongside trinket activation     and a Searing Totem should be placed)
  - If you need to move from one point to another, cast Frost Shock and Goblin Sapper Charge while moving and Crystal Charge once     again if moving is needed later on.
  - I also suggest to keep on you http://classic.wowhead.com/item=4945 which scales with spell damage, shadow related buff, debuffs, potions, etc... if     you are aiming to make other people in your raid jealous.

   teebling
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Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/caperfin
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@teebling Is there any chance my Barrens Chat name could be changed? I am known around the community as: Caperfin and would love to have it streamlined across everything. I would really appreciate it. If, not I understand.

P.S. Elemental Shaman PvE DPS Guide 5 days away from completion.

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@teebling I think I am finished. Every day I am tweaking the google docs in Gear, but that's offsite.

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Caperfin wrote:
5 months ago
@teebling I think I am finished. Every day I am tweaking the google docs in Gear, but that's offsite.
Alright nice one. I'll have this published some time this week but not tonight as I have other stuff planned.

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Hey @Caperfin had a look through and the google docs for the Gear section 'haven't been published' yet?

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@teebling the gear section should be fixed now. Thanks for letting me know!

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@teebling Everything should work now.

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