Hi, I'm Jaime, a 2x R1 Ele Shaman, and I've been playing ele for around 10 months nowm achieving a highest rating of 3126 in S15. I've written numerous guides for AJ in the past but with the new expansion coming around it's important to get some new and relevant information out in the form of a new guide. This guide is primarily aimed at newer, more inexperienced players, however more advanced players may take something from it also.
Ele is one of the most changed classes in WoD - in terms of playstyle we lost our run and proc mechanic that some people loved and others hated, and in general requires a much more conservative playstyle than that of the typical ele that older players are more used to. The metagame resolves around currently playing nice and safe and letting your mastery/other partner do most of the damage between elemental blast cooldowns.
We also lost a lot of our defensive utility through;
- The removal of Healing Tide Totem
- The nerf to Tremor Totem
- Ancestral Swiftness no longer affecting Hex
- Rockbiter weapon being removed
Lightning Bolt is also no longer usuable while moving, causing a major nerf to our overall mobility and usefulness in arena. Combined with the reduced haste levels, this really doesn't help when dealing with classes with high mobility such as Rogue, Mage, Druids, or Priests. Standing stationary casting a 1.5 second cast when most people can get to the pillar to LOS you in that time.
In the first tier of talents, Tier 15, Nature's Guardian reigns supreme. Stone Bulwark is alright after the removal of Battle Fatigue also, as it shields for a considerable amount. However considering how easily eles flop in stuns NG is definitely the strongest choice due to the short ICD, and large HP boost. It is also important to mention that NG is passive, not requiring you to do anything for it to activate.
Earthgrab Totem and Windwalk Totem are both viable picks for Elemental in WoD. Against classes with low amounts of root breaks, like warriors or rogues, Earthgrab is for sure much more powerful than a freedom that can be killed. It is also useful against pathetic playstyles like running behind a pillar as it disables the enemy from doing so. Windwalk is good for when there is either a lot of freedoms/root breaks, like a Windwalker + Holy Paladin team, or a Kitty Cleave. Windwalk is also much better vs spellcleaves, allowing you to get out of roots to line casts or kite better. Both are perfectly good and viable choices though. Frozen power is practically worthless for ele.
Simply enough, Call is mandatory with any team that can fear before the next tremor is up. Priests and warlocks, in other words It is also needed versus some hunter cleaves who use wyvern to get double tremor for the wyvern and fears. Totemic Projection is only really good when paired with Totemic Vigor and for keeping rogues in combat or hitting stuns. Not really recommended as pretty much every comp an ele plays drs stun already and keeping rogues in combat is impossible if they are good, however this doesn’t mean it is worthless. It is also important to remember Prep gives you double healing stream, or double grounding (powerful vs triple dps teams when paired with grounding glyph for example.)
In Warlords of Draenor Blizzard decided to nerf instant cc across the board resulting in a lot of classes losing their ability to CC without casting it, such as the removal of NS Clone and PoM Polymorph. NS Hex is no exception, and considering haste is no longer the best stat for Elemental, NS (Ancestral Swiftness) is no longer the best talent. Right now the choice is tied between Echo and Elemental Mastery - Elemental Mastery is extremely powerful vs teams with difficulty purging or with no purges, and Echo vs those teams with double or triple purge or when you run with a class with little trash buffs. For example, Elemental Mastery would be perfect vs a Pally Arms Kitty when running with a disc priest, however Echo would be much more useful when running LSD into beastcleave.
Rushing Streams is the best talent in the level 75 tier as it not only provides better healing over the course of a game via healing stream, but it also gives your team the Healing Stream buff from the Healing Stream glyph – 10% reduced magical damage. This is major versus most teams aswell as the healing being superior to both AG (which has very limited use thanks to eles low burst damage) and Conductivity (which is never useful in pvp ever).
Lava burst hits like a truck this season at around 35-50k depending on procs. Unleashed just makes this happen and is needed especially considering how little haste we have making elemental blast incredibly difficult to get off.
Elemental Fusion is currently the best talent we have in pvp due to liquid magma breaking cc for most comps, however in LSD I will be trying out liquid magma for the spread AOE damage that could really help. Storm elemental is too long a cooldown to be useful in arena, especially considering it can be killed and easily countered.
Lightning Shield is the only real mandatory glyph here, the constant 10% damage reduction is a lifesaver, especially vs teams that kill you in stuns. Without it, you are just too squishy in the current meta.
Healing Stream glyph, while in the optional section, is mandatory versus any mage, boomkin, or ele team. The 10% will top your team off as most people don’t kill Ele healing streams, and if they do, learn to hide them.
Totemic Vigor becomes useful if they are tunnelling your totems vs a team you need it, i.e healing stream vs LSD. This is also good when you play totemic projection and prevents your cap totem from being killed off instantly.
Hex is a must have vs teams where you can get easy, undispellable hexes – such as vs Ret Hunter. It becomes less strong if you play with a class that DRs hex like a mage or monk.
Shamanistic Resolve will become very strong versus teams with infrequent / long cooldown teams. For example, versus PHP, a full 60% shield wall would be invaluable on the wings. This glyph would be less powerful versus RMX though as their cooldowns are only one minute.
Ghost Wolf nice if you can’t use anything else, great increase on mobility when you need it. It’s really necessary for chasing and killing healers or totems, or even a turtling team like RMX.
Gemming and Reforging are gone from PVP in WOD! Woo! This means gearing and enchanting your character has become much easier. Currently the best setup for an Elemental Shaman in my opinion is;
This is due to the crit change causing our crit to give the effect of being able to proc extra multistrikes.
The best gearing setup is as follows also;
Neck - Gift of Multistrike
Back - Gift of Multistrike
Ring 1 - Gift of Multistrike
Ring 2 - Gift of Multistrike
Main Hand - Mark of the Warsong
Learning how to ground is ridiculously important, if you fail at grounding your entire team will suffer. Anyone who has ever played priest or druid at decent ratings will fall into grounding easily, but someone who has little to no experience with pre-emptively stopping cc can find this aspect of the class extremely difficult. Thanks to server latency changes in WoD grounding is incredibly reliable now, when you press it grounds the spell! As a warning though, it will only ground one spell whereas in the past it used to ground multiple spells if cast in a similar timeframe. Calling you can ground X is not always guaranteed, SOTF clones are pretty much impossible to ground over 80+ MS for example. Therefore it is important to make sure your team is aware of this, instead of saying “I will ground this next clone”, say “I should be able to ground this clone, but incase I can’t be ready to skin/ward/port etc.”
Another thing I recommend to do is investing the time in downloading and modifying Interrupt Bar to show the cooldowns of when the instant ccs are back up, for example, FOJ, Scatter, Frozen Trap, Deep Freeze etc. Once you then see, for example, a paladin sprinting towards your healer with hoj off cd, you can ground and you have a good chance to get the hoj.
Making and getting good keybinds for windshear arena 1-3 macros are also vital to playing shaman at high ratings. Myself, my wind shear 1, 2, and 3 macros are simply keybinded to 1, 2, and 3 respectively as they are easy to hit and easy to remember. Shear is incredibly overpowered and one of the best interrupts in the game. Learn to use it.
It is not a bad idea to make a healer alt or spend some time playing as resto as Elemental, as the positioning of an Elemental Shaman can often win (or lose) games. It is incredibly difficult to CC a healer when there is a good ele shaman between them and and the CCer, even more so considering most instant cc is gone from the game. Stay near your healer and abuse the pillar, you are a shaman.
Lastly, monitor your mana bar, in WoD mana regen on thunderstorm has been removed therefore currently Ele has NO way of getting mana back. Purging or Healing are incredibly important but you have to be careful when you do them as once you go oom, it’s go and drink time.
/cast tremor totem
Healing Surge Healer
/cast [@Mííxz] Healing Surge
Healing Surge DPS
/cast [@Saggyvagx] Healing Surge
/cast [@Mííxz] Cleanse Spirit
/cast [@Saggyvagx] Cleanse Spirit
/cast Grounding Totem
/cast [@focus] Hex (replace focus with arena1-3).
/cast lava burst
Wind Shear Target
/cast wind shear
Wind Shear Focus/Arena1-3
/cast [@focus] Wind Shear (replace @focus with arena1-3)
/cast [@focus] Purge
LSD LSD LSD.
It's another season of LSD being our strongest comp, which I am personally fine with =) however there are some other alternatives.
Feral Ele Disc works and relies on training druids and shamans to win games, can be very triple healer-ish though.
Rogue Ele Disc (Combat right now) is our second strongest comp. It really only works because combat is broken though.
Final Notes: I will complete this once WoD releases fully.
Thanks for reading ^^