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Lichdom

Elemental shaman rotation difficulty and dps

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Hail to my totem toting friends!

 

I'm currently going through the choices for my level 90 boost character, and I'm eyeing elemental shaman, but I have some questions that I'd love to get some input on.

 

My current 90s are a Protection Warrior and a Holy Priest. I have a rogue almost at 90 as well. From BC up to this point, my raiding classes used are around 40% Prot warr, 50% Holy Priest, 10% Rogue.

 

I feel like its time to add a ranged DPS into the mix. Although it would be trivial to spec shadow with my priest, and recycle some of my healing gear, I never really liked the shadow priest dps style.

 

My wishlist for a ranged dps:

 

* Dead easy rotation: Since I'll be learning the class from scratch and won't be leveling with it, I want a class that can attain 90%+ of its potential dps very easily while still allowing me to keep my raid awareness up.

 

* Good potential DPS: One of the main reasons why I'm not going shadow on my priest is its lower dps cap, all things being equal. I don't like always working twice as hard as other dps classes to be competitive with them.

 

* Easy to secure a raid spot: Especially early during my gearing, I feel that I need some raid utility that would help me get a raid spot before I gear up and can justify my spot with pure dps.

 

That being said, does elemental shaman really tick all the boxes as I think it does? Is its rotation really much easier than other ranged dps classes? Does it suffer from the hybrid class dps ceiling? How easy was it for other elemental shamans to get raid spots with questionable gear?

 

A final question of minor importance, do you expect any of your answers to change in WoD?

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The rotation is fairly easy to play to 90%.  It's a basic priority system with less steps than most others.

 

Is Flame Shock on your target or at a duration higher than 3 seconds?  If no, apply it.

Is Lava Burst off cooldown or do you have a Lava Surge proc?  If yes, cast Lava Burst.

Is Elemental Blast off cooldown?  If yes, cast Elemental Blast.

Is Lightning Shield at 6 stacks or more?  If yes, use Earth Shock.

Do none of these situations apply?  Then use Lightning Bolt.

 

AKA

Flame Shock > Lava Burst > Elemental Blast > Earth Shock for Fulmination > Lightning Bolt.

 

That's literally it.  The basic rotation uses 5 buttons.  Combine that with the fact that 3 out of 5 of the abilities can be used on the move, and you're a semi-mobile DPS machine.  Your AoE rotation is even more laughable.

 

2 targets?  Same as single target rotation, replacing Lightning Bolt for Chain Lightning in the last prio spot.

3 targets?  Spam Chain Lightning and dump Fulmination procs into your main target.

4+ targets?  Spam CL until the cows come home.

 

 

As for your potential DPS, it may not be that great.  We aren't the fastest scaling class, nor do we have any kind of 'overpowered' dimensions to our play.  We're good at burst, less at sustained.  In an equally skilled and geared group, you'd find yourself at the middle of the pack, at least until you're at a pretty high ilvl.  Even at the level that I'm at, a reasonably skilled warlock or hunter has no problems beating me.

 

 

That being said, it's very easy for an Ele Shaman to find a raiding group.  We're flexible, with a front end burst that can be held for mechanics.  We also bring a lot of buffs, Heroism/Bloodlust, Stormlash, and the most powerful offspec healing cooldowns in the game.  Even in low gear, you can provide these things and be an absolute asset to your team.

 

 

WoD is going to change things significantly for shamans, but we don't quite know how yet.  We will be a lot less mobile, but will also be brought up in damage to compensate.  I'm estimating that we'll be in the mid-high end of the pack.

Edited by Hybrys
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For a pure dps hunter or Mage is always good. Marksman or frost are pretty easy. Survival isn't hard it's just that it uses a couple more buttons.

The nice thing about hunter is that all ordos drops are good. As Ele ordos has belt and bracers, otherwise you need some very specific pieces from SoO to do well.

That said, chain lightning is fun, and if you're not going to jump into heroics with people who dps to the high end of their gear potential, ele won't let you down.

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For a pure dps hunter or Mage is always good. Marksman or frost are pretty easy. Survival isn't hard it's just that it uses a couple more buttons.

The nice thing about hunter is that all ordos drops are good. As Ele ordos has belt and bracers, otherwise you need some very specific pieces from SoO to do well.

I'm surprised that you'd mention Marksman!  That's one of those specs that radically changes rotationally going from 75% potential to 100% potential.

 

On the other hand, Beast Mastery Hunters are probably the next easiest class/spec to play.  Kill Command > Kill Shot > Serpent Sting > L90 Talent > Arcane Shot > Cobra Shot.  Fin.

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Thanks a lot for the input. After reading your advice, I took the plunge and boosted a shaman to 90.

 

I started doing some LFRs/Flex. I was surprised at being able to get into some flex pugs as well just for being a BL class. The rotation is indeed very simple, though I found the 2 and 3 target rotation is a little awkward. My main learning curve now lies in deploying the shaman's impressive array of utility cooldowns correctly and in a timely manner. Whenever a situation that requires a cooldown arises, I find myself wasting a lot of time hunting for keybinds that I can't remember or clicking to open the totem tree and staring at it trying to figure out which one is the Tremor totem or Earthbind Totem.

 

Having played my priest as holy dps on and off for many years, I'm very pleased with the effortless off-healing capabilities of the elemental shaman. I'm a healer at heart and can't help be always be aware of the health situation of the raid. With the elemental shaman, if I spot a problem, I can actually do something about it without affecting my dps too much.

 

I'm pretty happy overall with the Elemental Shaman and thank you for your advice.

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if you like that, heal thok and only cast healing rain, riptide, and cds. its pretty funny.

 

i like to rebind R to Shift+R for replying, then you can use R, T, F, G, C, and V for cooldowns. any other keys in there that you use, like C for character screen can go to Shift+C as well. Theyre all pretty easy reaches for a pointer finger.

 

dont forget to macro /stopcasting into most things, since lightning bolt can be cast on the move you need to do that or hit your stopcasting keybind for emergencies. Ancestral guidance is the biggest one that needs it, and Sham Rage & Astral Shift.

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