The State of Elementals: 4.2

So, 4.2 has hit, and with it more class changes, gear, and shiny objects to drool over.

However, all is not rosy in Elemental land. No doubt you’ve seen the veritable lack of single target changes in the patch notes, and wondered about things like the SimulationCraft T12 Heroic sim results to see us down the end of the pack again. Fortunately though, there’s a bit of light at the end of the tunnel as well as some potential changes around fire totems. Will these changes be enough though?

Looking a bit deeper at the SimulationCraft results, there are a few assumptions going on there, but first, a recap of the numbers.

  • Total DPS: 33042
  • Fire Elemental DPS: 5634
  • Personal DPS: 27191
  • Personal Mobile DPS (ignoring LvB): 19079

Putting two and two together, assuming the Fire Elemental works properly we’ll be doing 24713 DPS while moving, vs 33042 DPS when stationary (or in other words, we’ll be doing roughly 75% of our stationary DPS while mobile) without taking the 4pc Insta-LvB-On-Lava-Surge bonus into account. This is all thanks to that Unleashed Lightning LB-While-Casting glyph. Without it we’d be doing a much lower 8373 (~25%), although this is without taking UE & more frequent ES casts into account. In any case, it looks like the power indicator has swung from grossly underpowered to grossly overpowered for Elemental mobile DPS.

Scaling wise, things look fairly good. The graphs show what we expect, Int>SP>Haste>Mastery>Crit, with a large focus on haste over mastery & crit. However, the stat preferences for Elemental runs a bit contrary to that of Resto (being mostly Mastery>Haste>Crit) and also leaves me wondering why there are so many crit based items for Shaman. It may be that because we scale well with specific stats and poorly with others that has resulted in the general impression that we scale badly overall. It’s likely that if we weren’t restricted to mail for the 5% intellect bonus that we’d be picking up cloth & leather items that are itemised “better” than mail gear. This suggests that a background mechanics change on improving the value of crit while reducing the value of haste may make gearing more interesting and solve those “scaling issues”.

In short, until the fixes we need for Fire Elemental actually come through, Elemental is definitely the bottom-of-the-pack DPS spec that we were back in the Black Temple/Sunwell days, and even when those changes come through our deficiencies in stand-and-deliver encounters will be masked by our new mobility strength. The only silver lining is that you can pull out my old quote from 2.4 where I said “If you’re getting beaten by an Elemental Shaman, you’re doin’ it wrong”

About binkenstein
I'm a geek, living in Christchurch, New Zealand.

8 Responses to The State of Elementals: 4.2

  1. Nayaga on Destromath says:

    So if simcraft turns out to be correct, what to I tell my raid leader why it’s worth being an Elemental shaman to a raid?

    Blizzard knows where our dps is, they must think we make up for the weak DPS in another way. I wonder what it is?

  2. Nayaga on Destromath says:

    If my last post came off as QQ, that was not intended. I really do want to know what to tell the raid leader what advantages Elementals brings to make up for lower dps.

  3. binkenstein says:

    Good player, good mobile DPS, totems/auras. ’bout the usual really

  4. Larzix says:

    @Nayaga: What Binkenstein said + amazing interrupts.
    I’m doing 10 man raids with SP, lock, hunter and a mage on the DPS team, having Wind Shear is really making things easier for the other guys, although being solo interrupting mobs has its impact on my dps, but probably an overall increase.

  5. Naito says:

    But Wind Shear also loweres our DPS again.. And when I look to Fireland bosses there is only one Encounter where we have to use Wind Shear..

    • Larzix says:

      We just downed Baleroc for the first time, and I found myself on top throughout the entire fight until the last few seconds where I had to run for a crystal during the nuke. (as you can see on the WOL.
      and the kill video:
      I even mess up several times on my spells, so dps should have been higher.
      I know I’m not a top end raider, and gear isn’t the best at the moment (Armory link:, nor is my guild, but I still find myself competitive on all fights apart from Rhyolith. (progress on Staghelm tonight)
      So yeah, nice for interrupting on Alysrazor and not bad dps + buffs. Should be enough of a reason.
      Also… if you looked at the WOL link.. I know our arcane mage is doing it wrong🙂

      • Naito says:

        You are right.. Baleroc and Majordomo are encounter where we actually can be on the top of DamageMeter (Skada) but this are the only fights.. I got my 2nd T12 yesterday and was very suprised.. It takes only 30-90 secondes to reset the Fire Elemental, which should give us a DPS boost aswell.. lets see how it’s going in the next weeks when the gear improves and hardmodes are going forward.. And yes, your arcane mage is doing something wrong😀

        • Larzix says:

          Found myself near top / top on damage on Ragnaros as well, only got to 40% because some dps keep messing up, but that’s not the point. I just got 2p (legs and gloves) bought from VP, and had an amazing uptime on fire ele on ragnaros. Although he’s standing still after phase transitions. So based on my own experience, ele shaman isn’t lost yet🙂

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