Elementally Legion: Stats

As per usual, a common question is about the stat priority for Elemental and responses are either surprised or disappointed when the answer is “Crit”. More accurately, it’s as follows:

Int >> Crit > Haste ~= Versatility > Mastery


Critical Strike Rating has 2 things going for it: Elemental Focus and Elemental Fury. This means that a critical strike gets at least 25% more damage than a “normal” critical strike and the next two spells get a 10% damage bonus. There’s also a straight damage bonus effect on Ascendance should you take it.

Even though Crit had (almost) zero effect on Lava Burst it was still third in value during Warlords, falling just behind Haste, and there will be some interaction if the cast preceding Lava Burst is a crit.


Haste is a decent go to for Elemental, and has been for many expansions, but the problem for Legion is that as you add casts into your rotation it also reduces the effective uptime of Elemental Focus. This is because it increases the count of your non-autocrit spells, reducing the average bonus Focus gives, which is a negative feedback loop.

eg: 40 spells per minute, 20% crit rate, 10 Lava Bursts = (10 + 0.2 * (40-10)) * 2 / 40 = 80% effectiveness or 8% overall gain
50 spells per minute, 20% crit rate, 10 Lava Burst = (10 + 0.2 * (50-10)) * 2 / 50 = 72% effectiveness or 7.2% overall gain

This is ignoring refreshes where one charge isn’t used (ie: 2 crits in a row) but you can see how the effectiveness of the bonus decreases as more spells are added.


Back in Mists of Pandaria Lightning Bolt & Lava Burst were larger contributors to damage but this has reduced a bit in Legion with the addition of more non-Overload based spells or bonuses/effects that don’t interact with the Overload chance like Power of the Maelstrom. Resource generation is also a bit lower, as in MoP an overload gave 1 extra LS charge out of 6 (or 16.67% of total resources) vs the 6-8 Maelstrom in Legion (6-8%).

Most of the problem is that the stat increases resource generation and thus affects shocks, but that’s slightly incorrect as the more Maelstrom generated means less time spend casting Overload capable spells, or one of those “negative feedback loops” that causes problems for Haste.


Surprisingly, Versatility is about as good as Haste at the moment. It shouldn’t really be a surprise if we consider the negative effects for Haste & Mastery, plus it affects all spells.

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

14 Responses to Elementally Legion: Stats

  1. Peter says:

    I am currently not a fan of introducing Maelstrom to Elemental. It felt ham fisted from the perspective of shortening FS just to buff the duration to pre-7.0.3 levels just to make use of it

  2. Zonwujin says:

    So our worst stat is going to be our best stat now?
    And thats not because Crit got so much better anyhow ( except Asdencence Bonus) its because all other stats we have simply got much more worst than Crit is…

    With that in minde i am looking forward to my ele with a lot of fear for the Legion Content.

    • Christian H. says:

      Well Crit got better due to elemental focus. This comes even more the case with the first shaman raid set because it doubles the damage bonus from it.

  3. Imperius says:

    well when its crit no.1 its better for ele. tauren>troll?

  4. Naut says:

    Could you possibly go into a tad more detail as to how crit manages to pass up haste? Currently on beta Lavaburst is normally accounting for about 35% of the damage on raid encounters I’m still not seeing how (in my research and time playing on beta) Stacking crit, a stat that doesn’t have any effect on ~ 35% of your damage is really useful?

    Elemental focus got better yes, but I do not see much different. The only real thing I notice is the change (for the better) to how much haste we have naturally – Totem Mastery being 2 minutes and Ancestral swiftness.

    Basically what I’m asking is how? Currently on beta LB is ~35% of ele damage in raid testing and in logs. LB does not get benefits from Crit as you state. But haste does give benefits to LB as it allows you to cast more of them through lava surge… More ticks of FS more proc chances.

    Also, in your calculations for haste in regards to Elemental Focus … The .8% effectiveness gain is a higher net damage increase than 10 additional full spells? (that could also be crits). By stacking Crit it would seem natural that you would also negate the benefit of Elefocus, Three crits in a row is a common occurrence for Ele even as it sat in WoD so you’ve essentially cut the benefit of Ele Focus in half by criting multiple times in a row by eating a charge. The more crit you gain the more charges you will eat. How is this beneficial?

    Sorry for the big post, just confused as to the change all the sudden. During beta it seems that until very recently, haste was still king and crit was still (almost) useless. On Live bosses don’t last long enough for any of this to really matter … so stacking crit for ascension is amazing. But on beta I’m not sure this is the case?

    • Naut says:

      *Edit* obviously LB Benefits from Ele Focus. So the first paragraph should be altered but it always has.

  5. Pingback: Elemental Shaman Artifact and Stat Weights – World of Kazik

  6. Matt says:

    Your analysis on haste is wrong, you didn’t keep the same ratio of LvB

    • Matt says:

      more precisely I should say you don’t factor in additional lava surge procs due to haste into your spell count over a min

      • binkenstein says:

        It was just an example with arbitrary numbers to highlight how the negative effect works.100% haste increases lava surge procs from 3 to 6, whereas it would increase Lightning Bolt count from ~19.5 to ~46.5 (assuming no other casts were made)

  7. Jeff Norman says:

    Being in 826 ilevel gear (some mythic dungeon, Some heroic dungeon, and 1 piece crafted not upgraded yet) I have more haste than crit and more mastery than crit by a large sum, and I am not seeing why crit is valued more than haste other than in the situation of using the Ascendant talent.

    I am using a slightly different build than the one on Icy veins and I’m doing more with haste it seems. I think the reason is double dipping and the fact that elemental focus seems to proc also from lightning rod crits. It seems as though a lot of our stuff double dips for example multistrikes that crit seem to also have a chance to crit in turn doubling the original amount of crit you have to begin with (twice the chance). I understand with more crit this happens more often but on the flip side with more haste you have more sustained damage with crit being doubled for free. I also noticed that critting every other hit keeps the buff up but sometimes refreshes every hit which wastes a charge every time you double crit a casted spell vs getting crits on a target that is lightning rod debuffed adding damage and gaining the buff from a secondary effect of a casted spell.

    I hope that makes sense, I’m not a mathematician, I just know what seems to work according to real life and I am sure this will change eventually with gear but I’m sitting on pretty decent gear pre-raid and have completely conflicting info.

    My build: http://www.wowdb.com/talent-calculator#Ep1d
    Artifact build: http://www.wowdb.com/artifact-calculator#dJIIAIbDAIAgUDh_7AAA
    Note on the artifact: Both are warforged relics so couldn’t show that.

    • binkenstein says:

      There’s a general rule that procs can’t happen from procs unless explicitly stated (like Multistrikes generating Lightning Shield charges in WoD). Therefore Overload & Lightning Rod crits should not generate Elemental Focus charges, but if they do we’ll need logs to confirm this happening.

      Overloads also use the non-crit damage of the original cast as their base damage, so they can’t double dip on crit.

      I know that crit may not “feel” the best, but we’ve done a lot of analysis to confirm that it is (esp when most of us would prefer mastery being best).

  8. kieran says:

    Hello, is there a critical cap is reached

    • binkenstein says:

      No caps until you hit 100% in something

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