Icefury Build Guide


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Overview

Introduction

This build is all about making use of your small burst cooldowns quickly and efficiently while balancing maelstrom usage without losing stacks of said cooldown buffs. The rotation is hard to get used to and unless you are well versed with it, you will suffer greatly trying to perform it while adapting to raid mechanics and movement.

Video Guide by Naesam

Talents

Your basic talent build for raiding and dungeoning with the Icefury build is as follows:

Tier 15

Totem Mastery is the main choice, with Earthen Rage as the simpler option. Take Totem Mastery for multi-target encounters. Note that Totem Mastery has a lower mastery softcap due to the increased overload chance on Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning.

Tier 30

Gust of Wind gives you some much-needed mobility. Ancestral Guidance is currently very underwhelming compared to what other specs provide, and Wind Rush Totem could see some use in groups without other shamans or druids.

Tier 45

Lightning Surge Totem is the best PVE utility. Earthgrab Totem is very unlikely to be useful and Voodoo Totem has no use in any situation.

Tier 60

Ancestral Swiftness is the highest DPS option over the span of a fight, but Elemental Mastery could be used as a powerful burst cooldown to kill a priority add or make use of a burn phase. Aftershock is not competitive.

Tier 75

Elemental Blast is an incredibly powerful ability, but must be used on cooldown. Primal Elementalist is not far behind Elemental Blast. Elemental Fusion should only ever be considered in Council-style multi-target fights

Tier 90

Echo of the Elements is the best DPS option and makes the occurrence of Lava Surge procs more easily manageable, provided you do not let Lava Burst sit at two stacks. Liquid Magma Totem can be taken in some AoE situations, but Storm Elemental should never be taken.

Tier 100

As this is the Icefury build, you should use Icefury.


Stats and Gear

Due to the advent of the Titanforging system, BiS lists are a defunct practice and as such for most accurate gearing, we suggest you simulate each piece of gear you obtain against your other gear to find the most effective gear set.  Aside from that, following a general stat priority is the most practical way to move forward with gearing.  Additionally, we are focused on ST output for raid environments as it is vastly more important than building for AoE or cleave specifically, don’t be afraid to experiment with talents to tailor yourself to a raid encounter.

Stat priority

Critical Strike >= Mastery > Versatility > Haste

Stat ratio

For every x Critical Strike, you want: 0.85x Mastery, 0.35x Versatility, 0.17x Haste

Mastery affects all non-spender spells and this build adds two new hard hitting spells in Elemental Blast and Icefury.  Elemental Blast overloads hit hard and provide a second buff (if it grants the same buff it just refreshes the duration).  Icefury overloads just hit like a truck.  Also, Mastery is good because the Overload damage is boosted by Elemental Focus. Crit is good for EF uptime and affects all builders and spenders. Try to have a nice balance of Crit and Mastery in terms of rating, not %. Haste is devalued due to instant casts being a significant portion of damage dealt.

Nighthold Tier Set

The Nighthold tier bonus is powerful. We recommend using the following pieces:

Should I replace my legendary with this tier piece?

There are three legendaries that can block you from completing the tier set; Echoes, Uncertain Reminder, and Roots of Shaladrassil. Due to the randomness of loot, some may find themselves in a situation where they have to choose between gaining a two-piece/four-piece set bonus and keeping a legendary item equipped. Our recommendations for these three items is as follows:

  • Echoes
    • Do not replace this legendary with the LFR/Normal/Heroic difficulty shoulders to gain or maintain the two-piece bonus
    • Do replace this legendary with the Mythic difficulty shoulders to gain or maintain the two-piece bonus
    • Do replace this legendary to gain or maintain the four-piece bonus regardless of the replacement item level
  • Uncertain Reminder
    • Do not replace this legendary with the LFR/Normal/Heroic difficulty helmet to gain or maintain the two-piece bonus
    • Do replace this legendary with the Mythic difficulty helmet to gain or maintain the two-piece bonus
    • Do replace this legendary to gain or maintain the four-piece bonus regardless of the replacement item level
  • Roots of Shaladrassil
    • Do not replace this legendary with the LFRNormal/Heroic pants to gain or maintain the two-piece bonus
    • Do replace this legendary with the Mythic difficulty pants to gain or maintain the two-piece bonus
    • Do replace this legendary to gain or maintain the four-piece bonus regardless of the replacement item level

Rotation

The key to this build is to not over cap on Maelstrom while not wasting any Icefury, Frost Shock, or Stormkeeper charges and also keeping Elemental Blast and Lava Burst on cooldown.  It is a decently complicated and fluid rotation due to the amount of procs that need to be weighted against each other at any given point.  The advantage of this build is that it is very versatile for Single Target and also deals with movement very well.

Stormkeeper should always be used on cooldown, except when Elemental Blast is available or there is a moment of AOE coming up in the encounter.  Delaying Elemental Blast for almost any reason will result in a sizeable DPS loss.  This build is for more advanced players but the pay offs are rewarding as you have the tools to deal with most situations including moderate movement.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to game Elemental Focus but once our Nighthold tier set is obtained, it will be a DPS gain to do so.  It will be worth it to familiarize yourself with keeping track of Elemental Focus and utilizing it to buff all of your spells by weaving in Lava Burst.

Normal rotation

  1. Cast Flame Shock if:
    • It is not on the target
    • It will expire 9 seconds or less, your Maelstrom is 20 or higher, and you have a stack of Elemental Focus
  2. Cast Elemental Blast when available
  3. Cast Earth Shock when your Maelstrom is 92 or higher
  4. Cast Icefury when it is available, but only if:
    • You will not cap your Maelstrom by casting it (try to cast Icefury below 76 Maelstrom)
    • You will be able to use all 4 Frost Shock charges before they expire
  5. Cast Frost Shock once immediately following Icefury to avoid capping Maelstrom.
  6. Cast Lava Burst when Lava Surge is active or if you have 2 charges of Lava Burst
  7. Cast Frost Shock if:
    • Your Maelstrom is 20 or higher
    • You have a stack of Icefury
  8. Cast Stormkeeper
  9. Cast Lava Burst
  10. Cast Lightning Bolt

 

Multi-target rotation

2 targets

  1. Replace Lightning Bolt with Chain Lightning
  2. Cast Flame Shock both targets with the same considerations as ST
  3. Make these changes and do the single target rotation above.

3 targets

  1. Cast Liquid Magma Totem if selected
  2. Cast and maintain Flame Shock on all targets
  3. Cast Chain Lightning
  4. Cast Lava Burst only with Lava Surge procs
  5. Cast Earthquake if your Maelstrom is 50 or higher, in place of Earth Shock

4+ targets

  1. Cast Liquid Magma Totem if selected
  2. Cast Chain Lightning
  3. Cast Earthquake when available

Cooldown Usage

With the Icefury build, we only have two major cooldowns; Stormkeeper and Fire Elemental. While the usage of these cooldowns depends heavily on encounter-specific mechanics, below are a few guidelines to follow to maximize your DPS.

Stormkeeper – in encounters with multiple add spawns, it is often a gain to save Stormkeeper for when they are up for both increased DPS and priority add burst. An example of this is Elerethe Renferal’s Venomous Spiderlings. Saving Stormkeeper to kill these quickly helps your DPS and your raid’s overall progress in the encounter.

Fire Elemental – it is important to use Fire Elemental when you will gain the maximum benefit from it. It is recommended to use this in conjunction with your potions and heroism — even if it means holding the spell for a while.

Opener

The Icefury opener is complex, so we’ve put together a general beginner’s rotation to start off each fight. This is a sub-optimal way to use Icefury stacks but makes for an easier start to the fight, which is usually stressful.

Before combat
-3 sec. Cast Fire Elemental
-2 sec. Use Potion of Deadly Grace OR Potion of Prolonged Power and cast Elemental Blast

In combat

  1. Cast Lava Burst immediately upon entering combat
  2. Cast Flame Shock
  3. Cast Icefury
  4. Cast Stormkeeper
  5. Cast Lava Burst
  6. Cast Lightning Bolt x 3
  7. Cast Elemental Blast
  8. Cast Frost Shock x 4
  9. Continue with your normal priority

Note: Again, due to Mastery: Elemental Overload and Lava Surge, this rotation is fluid.  Please keep in mind that the maelstrom limits on Lava Burst (88) and Icefury (76) are the maximum Maelstrom you can have before casting those spells to not overcap WITHOUT an Overload. These spells most likely will Overload with good Mastery levels. If you cast a Lava Burst at 88 Maelstrom or Icefury at 76 Maelstrom, you probably will overcap. Those are the absolute highest limits and in practice it’s safer to cast them at lower Maelstrom. The key to success with this build is managing all of your separate procs without overcapping Maelstrom.  Another important aspect is to buff your instant spells with Elemental Focus as well as making sure Elemental Blast is off cooldown immediately and Lava Burst never hits 2 stacks.  Once you get Icefury on cooldown and have used all four Frost Shock charges, the rotation becomes a little less complicated and you can follow the normal build/spend process.  Build with LvB/LB and spend with ES while filling in Elemental Blast when it comes off cooldown.  Delaying Elemental Blast for any reason is almost always a DPS loss so prioritize it over everything except for Flame Shock.


Simulations

Races

Racial sims were done in a Patchwerk scenario using The Hungry Magister as food.

  1. Dwarf = Tauren
  2. Troll
  3. Orc
  4. Draenei
  5. Goblin
  6. Pandaren

Relics

Relic priorities differ from build to build and depending on the fight style. “+1 weapon item level” is the DPS gained from a 927 item level weapon being upgraded to 928. All simulations were done with 54 traits.

Single target

  1. Lava Imbued – 0.99% DPS increase (worth ~3 ilvl)
  2. Molten Blast – 0.83% DPS increase (worth ~2 ilvl)
  3. Call the Thunder – 0.79% DPS increase (worth ~2 ilvl)
  4. Firestorm – 0.73% DPS increase (worth ~2 ilvl)
  5. Earthen Attunement – 0.66% DPS increase (worth ~2 ilvl)
  6. +1 weapon item level – 0.35% DPS increase

Beastlord (intermittent add spawns)

  1. The Ground Trembles – 1.31% DPS increase (worth ~4 ilvl)
  2. Electric Discharge – 1.19% DPS increase (worth ~3 ilvl)
  3. Call the Thunder – 0.40% DPS increase (worth ~1 ilvl)
  4. +1 weapon item level – 0.35% DPS increase
  5. Lava Imbued – 0.28% DPS increase (worth ~1 ilvl)
  6. Firestorm – 0.27% DPS increase (worth ~1 ilvl)
  7. Molten Blast – 0.20% DPS increase (worth ~1 ilvl)
  8. Earthen Attunement – 0.06% DPS increase (worth 0 ilvl)

Tier 19 set bonus

  • 2P – 2.1% DPS increase
  • 4P – 8.2% DPS increase (includes 2 piece bonus)

Changelog

  • Feb 18 – Updated format, expanded talent information, updated simulations to use numbers from T19M_NH gear.