What Should I Focus On?

March 23, 2009

Ive been trying to think of another good post that would help out all the upcoming elemental shamans of Azeroth. My last post was on how to spec and what talents were best and how they worked. But there is so much more than a good spec. If you dont know how to use it, it means nothing. So right now I want to explain what I believe are the most important things to focus on in a raid setting.

Disclaimer: These are my personal views having played an Elemental Shaman. This is how I went about raiding wise and it has worked fabulously. If you have alternative views, please post them in the commments section. Thank you.

Spell Hit

Lets face it, your not gonna do any damage if you cant hit the target. Spell hit increases your chance to hit the target, therefore increasing your ability to do more damage. The hit cap for casters if 17% hit, or 445.94 hit rating. Now this is not including our talents that reduce our hit cap to 14%. This reduces our hit cap to 367.24 hit rating. But in a raid, there are even more chances to lower your required hit rating.

A raid will most likely have a boomkin or shadow priest to increase your chance to hit another 3%, dropping our hit cap to 11% (288.55 hit rating). Finally, if you are Alliance, then you are a draeni with the natural talent of “Hit rating Increased by 1%” to our final hit cap of 10% (262.31 hit rating). You should have some extra hit gear available if a shadow priest or boomkin is not available to maintain your hit. This should be the first thing you gem for, even if its just 16hit gems, you need them first.

Crit Chance

I believe crit is the next thing to focus on. With more crit, you lower your mana cost of your damaging spells and increase your crit chance by an additional 5% for 15 sec. I always aimed to have at least 30% crit unbuffed. I found this to be a good aim because it will raise your crit to 35%, or just over 1/3. So every three moves, at least one should crit replenishing the 15 sec buff of extra crit, and giving the reduction of mana cost for two spells. This is next thing you should gem for as long as you stay hit capped.

Spell Power

Next in line would be spell power, the strength of a caster. I dont feel I need to explain why this is important. Its spell power. Spell power, meet caster. Caster, meet spell power. This is where most of your gems will go once you have the hit and crit to back it up.


This is the last thing you should focus on. This stat will increase your cast time, which is nice, but not nearly as important. Haste will aslo come with gear. I dont believe you should ever gem for this.

With these four stats, you should see your dps increase dramatically and more invites flying your way. Gratz on the dippis and keep hunting for those purples.

Lightningrod, Master of Mechanisms



  1. Thanks. This is interesting. My first char to 80 is a hunter. I never did instances, and was 95% solo. I never paid attention to the theorycrafting about numbers, I just focused on whatever as a leatherworker I could make for myself. Then after 80 I realized I was *really* missing out on a *lot*. I started looking at other folks and realized that I missed the boat entirely. Amazed that I could even hit something, I decided to work on my neglected rogue – who at lvl 76 is well over hit cap, and is mean and twisted. astounding difference.

    In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about my neglected shaman(s) and started digging around to see what folks were doing, particularly with the changes coming in 3.1, and how raid focus was for the totem tossers. Then I found your site, and it’s helped me a lot. I do appreciate your comments and bloggishness.


  2. +Hit was one of the stats I neglected before 3.0. We were able to get away with murder back then, I think I had 42+hit, cap was 50 I think (or very close) Now I’m still way below the cap, but the closer I get the less important it seems. I’m sitting around 140ish now and not missing very much if at all. My goal is 200ish. I don’t know if I can hit the cap with content accesible to him at this point so that’ll have to do

  3. Crit Chance?

    You -do- realize that with Lava Burst being a guaranteed Crit, there’s little to no reason to gem Crit, right? A guaranteed crit every 8 seconds (10 or so depending on lag and other factors, etc etc) generally does enough to keep your clearcasting and elemental oath both up for that 10% SP bonus.

    As you gear your shaman through Naxx and Ulduar, there’s enough crit on your gear to where you will also crit a lot with your LBs between LvB casts. Just with gear alone I am at 28.46% crit… without any gems for crit. Pre-WOTLK, yes, I would agree that Crit needed to be balanced in there. But now? It’s not hardly a focus at all. Spell Power and Haste are a lot more important.

  4. I have never gemed for haste during wotlk. I always went with hit and crit. The reason I suggest crit is because i always wanted to have 30% crit to just stay above 33% crit with the crit buff. Once I had 30%, Ive been going for straight spell power.

  5. Crit isn’t nearly as important here in WOTLK, as it was in BC. In BC, you had to go for that 30% or so because it was vital to keep clearcasting going for your mana reduction – with the introduction of the lava burst spell, it’s not nearly quite so necessary.

    Furthermore, haste allows you to fit more lightning bolts inbetween your lava bursts.

  6. Ehhh, that’s me btw that’s posted twice. Different computers >.>

  7. Heh. I guess I spoke too soon in my last post. I was stacking crit like it was BC before 80. Old habits die hard. My shaman became my alt late in BC, turned to tanking on my Druid. Now a few old friends have called me up to tap my shaman for some raids. I’ve picked up some great gear in Naxx25 over the course of a few weeks. Just ran his first Naxx10 this week (LOL). I’ve been dumping Crit for haste with the latest upgrades, picked up a ton of +Hit now too.

    TLDR: I agree, it’s not just about keeping up the Elemental oath, Clearcasting goes down fast in 8 seconds. that’s what? 2 or 3 LBs +1 CL? Plus keeping FS up on the boss. Crit isn’t as critical as it once was, but I still want 30ish% unbuffed.

  8. Yea. Now that I have like 31% crit without talents, I’m gonna focus haste AS LONG as ikeep my current stats. Prob turn yellow slots into haste 😛

  9. Haste only has value to a point. For me, the quantity of haste I would need to improve my sequence is astonomical, and as such, I value +spellpower over all other stats. I run (raidbuffed) crit at ~27%, and don’t really find myself wanting for more. Really, in my experience, you want enough haste to fit 4 lightning bolts, and either a chain lightning or a flameshock between lava bursts (unless you’re dealing with multiple targets, but I’m talking about boss fights at the moment.)

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