Classic Elemental Shaman DPS Stat Priority
On this page, you will find out the optimal PvE stat priority for your Elemental Shaman DPS in WoW Classic. We first present the stat priority, before delving into more complex explanations.
The Basics of Stats for Elemental Shamans
Before we begin, it should be said that gear in WoW Classic tends to be very unique, and as such, you will often be chasing very specific items, rather than simply following a stat priority list. Still, a more detailed explanation on each of a Shaman's relevant stats will help you understand why those pieces are so sought after.
The stat priority for Elemental Shamans is as follows:
Damage-based Stat Priority
- Spell Hit Rating (you need 16% before talents to cap hit against bosses);
- Spell Damage (some spells scale better with it than others, but for the most part you will be casting spells that benefit greatly from it);
- Spell Critical Strike (200% damage chance on spell hit with Elemental Fury);
- Mana every 5 seconds (for Mana regeneration while you are casting).
- Intellect (grants spell critical strike and increases your maximum Mana);
- Spell Penetration (you only need this stat against PvP targets with Nature Resistance).
Priority of Other Stats
- Stamina (more health per point);
- Resistance (strongly reduces Magic damage taken of a specific element);
- Spirit (health regeneration outside combat);
- Agility (dodge);
- Armor (less physical damage taken).
Getting a Better Understanding of the Stats for DPS Elemental Shamans
Spell Hit allows your spells to land more often, which is a huge DPS increase, but keep in mind that you will always have at least a 1% chance to miss with spells. Depending on the level of your enemy, you might need more, or less Spell Hit to reach this 1% cap:
- For an enemy of the same level as you, 3% Spell Hit is needed to cap.
- For an enemy 1 level higher than you, 4% Spell Hit is needed to cap.
- For an enemy 2 levels higher than you, 5% Spell Hit is needed to cap.
- For an enemy 3 levels higher than you, which is the case of raid bosses, 16% Spell Hit is needed to cap.
Whenever you have Nature's Guidance, you will only need 13% Spell Hit to cap against bosses.
Spell Damage is applied to each spell based on its casting time.
The coefficient is calculated by dividing the cast time of a spell by 3.5. This is because a 3.5 second cast benefits from 100% of your gear's Spell Damage. For example, if you have 20 additional Spell Damage from gear, then this will simply affect your spells as follows:
- Damage Increase per spell cast = n * 20
- n = spell's coefficient
Instant single target spells typically only get around 43% of the benefit, with area of effect spells having an even greater penalty. Chain Lightning gets about 71%, but a longer cast spell such as Lightning Bolt gets more: roughly 86% of the Spell Damage in your gear, as added damage.
This means that 100 Spell Damage on your gear would cause Lightning Bolt to deal around 86 extra damage per cast, but Chain Lightning would only deal 71 extra damage to its main target, using the same gear. A table with the exact coefficients for all spells in WoW Classic can be found in this reddit thread, by u/RobertVests.
Spell Critical Strike
Spell Critical Strike allows your spells to occasionally deal extra damage. Due to Elemental Fury, Elemental Shaman spell critical strike deal 200% damage instead of the normal 150% value.
Mana every 5 seconds
Mana every 5 seconds, or simply Mp5, is a common stat found on healing gear. This is the best stat for getting more Mana during a fight because it works constantly, even if you cast something in the last 5 seconds (contrary to Spirit) and should thus be taken whenever possible, until you feel comfortable with your Mana sustainability.
Intellect is a good stat for Elemental Shamans, as it increases total Mana pool and spell critical strike. The Mana pool gain is very significant during leveling and while AoE grinding, but not so significant during raids, where Mana regeneration and Mana consumables will typically play a bigger part in your sustainability.
Spell Penetration allows your spells to deal more damage / hit more often against enemies with Magical Resistances by lowering their resistance for the spell penetration value on the item. Keep in mind these resistances cannot be lowered under 0 (or 24, for bosses) and that Nature Immune targets are not affected.
Thus far, no raid bosses have been found to have more than the baseline 24 Nature Resistance, which cannot be reduced, making this stat useless for PvE. It can still be useful in PvP, when used in small quantities.
For Elemental Shamans, Spirit provides Mana regeneration, but only when you are not casting for 5 seconds or more, which will rarely the case outside of leveling / soloing.
Stamina is the only stat that will help you survive all types of attacks, and as such, should always be valued.
Resistance, while inherently niche due to different bosses dealing different magical damage types, can be very useful while progressing specific bosses. Wearing resistance gear of a type makes you take less damage or even completely avoid damage when hit by that type of magical damage.
- 03 Nov. 2020: Further clarified that Spell Penetration has no effect in relevant PvE content.
- 02 Sep. 2020: Added a note on raid bosses having been found to have no Nature Resistance thus far.
- 11 Jan. 2020: Reworked Spell Power's coefficient explanation.
- 19 Aug. 2019: Page added.
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