Want to be a heroic elemental shaman?


Previously I have written a rough guide about how healing priests can gear themselves in preparation for healing heroics.  This has actually turned out to be one of my most popular posts.

My elemental shaman is fast approaching 80 and so I thought I might knock up a similar list for him.  Gearing an elemental shaman for heroics is at once both harder and easier than a healing priest.  Easier in that in heroic instances there is usually only one healer but three DPS.  So if your DPS is a little weak you are more likely to succeed as a group than if your healer is under geared. However gearing an elemental shaman is harder because the itemisation is far worse than for healing priests.  The healers have far more options on where to get their gear from than mail caster DPS do.

The list below has a fair number of items made by tailors or purchased from the auction house (AH).  This is because the options from quests and reputation gear are far fewer than for healing priests. I am also slightly biased towards tailored items because my main is a tailor.  Most players, even if they don’t have a tailor themselves, should be able to locate one to make them gear, usually within their own guild.  The Frostweave required for the tailored pieces can easily be accumulated while leveling.  The Infinite Dust can also be accumulated while leveling by disenchanting stuff.  If you’re not a disenchanter yourself you can probably work out an arrangement with your friendly guild enchanter.

Stat targets

Before we get to the list here are the target stats we are aiming for (unbuffed):

Spellpower: 1500, IFSR MP5: 180, Int: 800, Hit rating: 79, Spell crit: 15%, Haste: 10%


To complete the item list below you will need some reputation.  I’d suggest leveling by completing the questing achievements (or close to it) for both start areas, Dragonblight, Grizzly Hills and Zul’Drak.  Once you finish Zul’Drak or hit level 80 you will need to do the first part of Ice Crown, starting at Argent Vanguard.  Complete the nearby quests until you complete The Air Stands Still for the shoes.

Reputation required is:

  • Honoured with Knights of the Ebon Blade, you will achieve this by questing within Zul’Drak and Ice Crown
  • Honoured with Wyrmrest Accord, and
  • Revered with the Kalu’ak.  The last two you will achieve by completing most of the quests in Dragonblight.


Ok now the gear.  Items below are based on this LootRank.

Edit: I’ve updated the LootRank based on Binkenstein’s work.

  • Head – Hat of Wintry Doom (AH or tailor – 1 Ebonweave, 6 Imbuned Frostweave, 5 Icesilk, 1 Thread) – insert a Chaotic Skyflare Diamond and a Veiled Monarch Topaz.  Best in slot before heroics except perhaps the Battle Mender’s Helm at Revered Argent Crusade.
  • Neck – The Choker of Betrayal is from the end of a fun chain in Zul’Drak.  To start the chain kill some stuff around Ebon Watch in Zul’Drak.  An item called an Unliving Choker will drop and allow you to start the chain.
  • Shoulder – Dark Runic Mantle can be bought of the AH for about 60-120g at time of writing.
  • Back – I ummed and ahhed about the Dark Soldier Cape.  You get it at Honoured with the Knights of the Ebon Blade.  To get it you will have to complete the quest line which results in the establishment of the Shadow Vault in Ice Crown.  If this sounds like too much work you can get away with a lesser cloak.
    Edit: An even better option is the Deathchill Cloak.  It is best-in-slot until the end heroics raids and can be bought or made for about 600gp.
  • Chest – Black Duskweave Robe – Purchase off the AH or tailored and requires 5 Imbuned Frostweave, 2 Icesilk and 2 Thread.  I’ve seen these sold as low as 25 gold (which is a huge loss for the tailor, but nevermind).
    Edit: In hindsight a better long term option is to go straight for an Ebonweave Robe.  This is best-in-slot for a long, long time, infact up until Four Horsemen in Naxx 10.    This will cost you about 1100gp to make or buy.
  • Wrist – Bands of the Sky Ring from th AH or if you can’t find them Storming Vortex Bracers
  • Hands – Awakened Handguards are purchased off the auction house.  These cost me about 25 gold.
    Edit: As for the chest slot the Ebonweave Gloves can be bought for about 600gp and are best in slot until the end of Naxx 25.
  • Waist – Sash of the Wizened Wyrm require Honoured with Wyrmrest Accord.  If you quested in Dragonblight you should be at this rep level already.
  • Legs – Black Duskweave Leggings can be bought from the AH or tailored (requires 5 Imbuned Frostweave, 2 Icesilk, 2 Thread same as chest).  You get a bonus 18 spell power by wearing both legs and chest pieces of this set.  As for the chest these sometimes get sold for very low prices on the AH.
  • Feet – Leiah’s Footpads gained from The Air Stands Still quest in Ice Crown.  These are very nice boots and i suggest you up a Veiled Monarch Topaz in the gem slot.
  • Fingers 1 – Ring of Temerity can be obtained by completing The Struggle Persists from Raelorasz at the Transitus Shield.  You will complete this by running The Oculus instance.
  • Fingers 2 – No idea.  Perhaps the Lion’s Head Ring from the For Posterity quest in Gundrak.  It has spirit on it but is still decent.  There aren’t a lot of good options for the second finger slot.
  • Trinket 1 – Cannoneer’s Fuselighter from a quest ‘The Last Line Of Defense’ in Ice Crown.  You will do this on the way to getting your boots anyway.
  • Trinket 2 – Futuresight Rune – Once you hit 80 go back to Chromie at the top of Wyrmrest Temple and you will get to do the second part of this silly quest.  Very easy to complete.
  • Main hand – Totemic Purification Rod can be purchased at Revered with the Kalu’ak.  You will be revered already if you quested in Dragonblight.  An easy item to aquire and you should get it at 78 if you can.
  • Off hand – Zom’s Crackling Bulwark is excellent if your rich or can get one at a good price off the AH.  Otherwise, if you can find one try a Saronite Protector.  If desperate get a Frostbridge Orb.  They are usually sold for about 30 gold on my server.
  • Totem – Ah the totem slot.  The ugly duckling of your gear list.  None of the totems you can get until Naxx 25 are very useful, which is annoying.  Probably the best at this stage in your gearing is the Venture Co. Lightning Rod (which has nothing to do with lightning BTW).  You get this from some easy PvP quests in the Grizzy Hills.  The quests are easy to complete, buying the item is harder.  Your faction has to control the lighthouse for the quartermaster for your faction to spawn.  On my server Venture Bay is always alliance controlled.  I had to wait until 80 and basically take the place by myself to get this.   Considering how small a DPS increase it is you could probably get away with any totem ok. Totem of the Tundra is easy to get.

In heroics the bosses are level 82 so you only need 79 hit rating to be guarenteed to hit them.   However, if your planning on raiding at all I would suggest you focus on gemming and enchanting for hit rating until you reach at least 295 (368 hit rating is the real cap but 295 assumes you have a shadow priest using Misery).  For slots without hit rating options spell power is your friend. Ideally you’d put Arcanum of Burning Mysteries on your hat, but as it requires Revered Kirin Tor, and you might not be ready for that yet.  I’ll post seperately about gems and enchants later.

Don’t forget to wear a tabard for reputation gains while in heroic instances.  Kirin Tor might be worth starting with for the head enchant mentioned above.

Drop your totems a lot.  It only takes a few seconds and in most circumstances you’re better off DPSing a few seconds less and buffing your party with totems than not using them.  Remove them with Totemic Call to reduce the impost on your mana bar.

Be careful with Thunderstorm.  Anyone who melees, tanks especially, get annoyed if you keep blasting the mobs away from them.  Learn to use it when and where it won’t cause trouble or use the Glyph of Thunderstorm.

Edit: Too Many Alts has an excellent post on elemental shaman and gearing also.

Good luck!


13 Responses to Want to be a heroic elemental shaman?

  1. Fear.Win says:

    How did I miss this post? I just bookmarked it so I can come back when my Shaman hits 80. Kudos for not being armor-class-biased and actually including cloth gear. This should help a lot!

  2. BobTurkey says:

    I don’t know did you? 😉

    I’ve actually realised since posting this that for both chest and gloves slots you are actually best to go straight for Ebonweave gear as these remain best in slot until round about Naxx 25 (i.e. a long time).

    I’ll edit the post soon to reflect this.

    re:armour types – I’d prefer to wear all mail, but the itemisation is really bad for caster mail (i.e. very limited drops). In theory a caster DPS shouldn’t need the extra armour from mail either.

  3. Fear.Win says:

    I’ve noticed a majority of the mail caster drops in Naxx-10 have spellpower and mp5 as opposed to crit which isn’t going to do an elemental shaman a lot of good. I raided T6 as a Boomkin in TBC and 90% of my gear was cloth so I’m no stranger to dropping armor classes lol. Cloth is just a lot easier to obtain, IMO.

  4. Fear.Win says:

    Also worth noting, do you not recommend getting the Deathchill Cloak crafted over the Ebon Blade rep cloak? The mats are fairly cheap and even though it lacks stats, the equip bonuses are pretty stellar. The caster mace from Wyrmrest is also a pretty nice start mace as is the dagger from Kirin Tor. I know a few Elemental Shaman who also started off getting the Titansteel Guardian crafted for its insane amount of crit and spellpower as a fresh 80. Up to you, but just a few ideas.

  5. BobTurkey says:

    Oh yeah I should have mentioned Deathchill Cloak alongside the Ebonweave. Similar case. Can be obtained even before heroics and is best in slot or near to.

    The caster mace from revered Wyrmrest is nice (my priest used it), but it requires a small amount of rep farming either via dailies and or heroics. Both of which I wanted to avoid recommending.

    I’ll be doing a best-in-slot pre-raiding gear lsit for elementalists very soon and will include these crafted cross-over items.

  6. Fear.Win says:

    Cool. Can’t wait!

  7. BobTurkey says:

    This weekend. 🙂

  8. […] Yay me, etc, etc.  Now on to something more serious.  Recently I posted on gearing and tips for starting your elemental shaman on heroics.  This post is about the next strata, i.e. moving from heroics on to raiding.  Its aimed at those […]

  9. niceas says:

    I’ve been raiding as an elemental shaman now for a while. A couple of points of note –

    There are some great gloves that you can buy in the AH. My apologies as I can’t recall their name atm, but they’re epic and drop in Naxx 25.

    Secondly, make sure you get the minor glyph for Thunderstorm. The reason is that it eliminates knockback, and as such will not annoy your raidmates.

    Thirdly, Haste has a variable value. It is one of our most important stats, but it is only worthwhile if it will let you get in an additional lightning bolt. The typical cast priority for an elemental shamman is Flameshock (if debuff is not active) -> Lava Burst -> Chain Lightning -> Lightning Bolt. Essentially, you’re spamming lightning bolts between Lava Burst and Chain Lightning CDs, and as such, Haste only benefits you if it allows you to squeeze in an additional lightning bolt.

  10. niceas says:

    One other point – if you’re looking at getting one of the emblem belts, go with the cloth one – it is FAR superior for an Ele shaman than the mail one.

  11. BobTurkey says:

    Gloves of Token Respect I think you mean. Nice gloves. At time of writing my priest is still wearing them.

    Glyph of Thunderstorm – I haven’t raided yet with Turkemoo, but so far this seems optional rather than mandatory. Having said that i’m not yet into hardcore min/maxing him (he’s an alt) and maybe i’ll put it in then.

    In 5 mans the healers and other DPS seem to be happy for me to punt foes they accidentally pull 20+ yards away. Obviously you need to be careful using it near the tank. There is a current discussion regarding this here: http://masterofmechanisms.wordpress.com/2009/03/12/thunderstorm-dont-bug-me-about-it/

    I agree for belts (https://bobturkey.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/preparing-your-elemental-shaman-for-raiding/). This post is pre-heroics.

  12. niceas says:

    Actually, I’m not wearing the gloves of Token Respect – the ones I have are mail (+Crit, Haste and Damage for stats). They’re BoE, and on my server are selling for less than 1000 gold. As such, they aren’t a bad investment for a new shaman (elemental OR resto).

  13. […] story is that I recently posted about gearing elemental shaman for heroics and raids and blam!  These two posts are generating traffic like this is the only elementalist […]

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