PvE Elemental Shaman Stat Priority & Reforging

PvE Elemental Shaman Stat Priority & Reforging
  • Author: Strong
  • Date: May 20, 2024
  • Updated: May 20, 2024
  • Expansion: Cataclysm

Before you can start kitting out your character you’ll need to know what your stat priority is so you can select the appropriate gear, gems, enchants, and consumables. Elemental Shamans have only the standard Hit cap to worry about and have a fairly straightforward time with itemization.

Stat Priority

  1. Intellect
  2. Hit/Spirit
  3. Mastery/Haste
  4. Critical Strike

Intellect is priority #1 now that it increases spell power in addition to mana and spell critical hit chance. Every point of Intellect you can get, you should take; the only exception is if you haven’t reached the hit cap.

Hit is capped at 17% or 1742 Hit Rating (1640 for Draenei with their racial, Heroic Presence), which you can easily get by Reforging stats on your items to Spirit if you have three points in Elemental Precision. Each point of Spirit gained from items or effects will give Mastery points at a 1:1 ratio.

Mastery and Haste are equally important, but it’s likely that Haste will be better early game and Mastery late. If you have so much Haste that your Lightning Bolt cooldown is faster than the GCD when combined with other Haste buffs like Heroism/Bloodlust, then you should itemize for Mastery instead. However, it’s unlikely you’ll have enough Haste in the beginning months of Cataclysm.

One thing to note for Haste is that you can increase the number of times that Flame Shock ticks on a target by stacking Haste. Unbuffed, Non-Goblins will see 7 ticks rather than the standard 6 ticks with 406 Haste. While this breakpoint is achievable, to achieve 8 ticks, you’ll need 2437 Haste instead. At this point, you might be stacking too much Haste; keep in mind that you’ll receive Haste buffs from other sources like Heroism/Bloodlust and Wrath of Air Totem. On the other hand, Mastery can be stacked without needing to consider diminishing returns; it just wouldn’t be as good as stacking Intellect.

Critical Strike Rating is your last useful stat for PvE. The prior stats mentioned will always be better — if you’re playing the spec correctly, your Lava Burst should always critically strike — but Critical Strike Rating will always be there as gravy. Once again, Intellect gives critical strike chance in addition to spell power and mana, so any overlapping stat types like Critical Strike Rating get edged out most of the time.


Reforging is a new feature in Cataclysm that allows you to trade out part of one secondary stat for another on any piece of gear. You won’t be able to get Intellect this way, or get rid of another stat like Agility or Stamina, but you can fine-tune your secondary stats to your heart’s content.

Elemental Shaman will want to Reforge their gear in line with the stat priority above: first to Spirit if you’ve not yet reached Hit cap; then to Haste if you haven’t sufficient Haste rating; and, finally, to Mastery if you’ve attained your Hit cap and whatever Haste soft cap you’re looking to reach. If you have Elemental Precision maxed, which you should, Spirit will be strictly superior to Hit, as it can both assist with mana regen and be useful on gear if you need to swap into a Restoration off-spec.


About the Author


Thrall is the best Warcraft character; tell me I'm wrong. Long-time Blizzard fan who thinks that gnomes are the worst type of people and rogues don't tip (except into your spine). Flying mounts should never have been added to the game, and playing 12 hours of WoW a day just makes you "dedicated."
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Scroll to Top