The elemental priority is fairly straightforward — the choice of which spell to cast next is often easily made. However, buff and resource management both play a vital role in your success and are important skills to learn. This is especially apparent when using Icefury, which requires careful planning of cooldowns, buffs and Maelstrom to pull off optimally.
Tier 21 rotational changes
There isn’t much to note for rotational changes with the Tier 21 set bonus, but a few things will come up that we’ll cover in this mini-section:
- You should, for the most part, think of the Tier 21 2 piece bonus (called Earthen Strength) as another passive.
- You don’t want to cast Lava Burst to gain Earthen Strength on 4+ targets.
- There is no evidence that it is worth min-maxing the Earthen Strength buff for Icefury empowered Frost Shock casts. Instead, treat it as a passive boost.
- Keep in mind is that Earthen Strength is applied with Lava Burst hits the target, not when the cast finishes. This can be an issue with bosses that have very large hitboxes (like Krosus).
- You should be able to cast Earth Shock, Earthquake, or Frost Shock immediately after a Lava Surge cast, since the global cooldown will still be active while the instant Lava Burst is flying towards the target. Lava Burst travels at 50yd/sec, so even at max range (40yd), it will take 0.8 seconds to hit the target which is well below an achievable global cooldown time. The cast following Lava Surge will benefit from Earthen Strength.
Select a talent to view the relevant priority:
- Cast Flame Shock if either are true:
- It is not on the target, OR
- It will expire in 9 seconds or less, your Maelstrom is 20 or higher, and you have a stack of Elemental Focus.
- Cast Totem Mastery if any of the following are true:
- It is not active, OR
- You are out of its range, OR
- It will expire in the next 3 seconds.
- Cast Elemental Blast when available (even during Ascendance).
- Cast Icefury on cooldown if both are true:
- You have less than 101 Maelstrom, AND
- You will be able to use all 4 Frost Shock charges.
- Cast Frost Shock if:
- Your Maelstrom is 20 or higher and you have the Icefury buff active.
- Note: see the section titled Icefury optimisations below for more information on when to cast Frost Shock.
- Cast Earth Shock when your Maelstrom is 117 or higher (even during Ascendance).
- Cast Stormkeeper if you will be able to use all 3 charges before the buff expires (therefore: mind your Ascendance).
- Cast Lightning Bolt if Power of the Maelstrom and Stormkeeper are active (even during Ascendance, but this situation should only happen if you get an Ascendance proc from gloves).
- Cast Lava Burst when available.
- Cast Earth Shock when your Maelstrom is 111 or higher.
- Cast Lightning Bolt.
Icefury optimisations — making the most of Elemental Focus and Earthen Strength
When looking to min-max Frost Shock casts with Elemental Focus and Earthen Strength, there are a few caveats to consider. Namely, the difficulty in correctly timing and ordering your abilities. This is in part due to the fact that these buffs apply when Lava Burst (or other critical hits in the case of Elemental Focus) hits the target, not when it successfully finishes casting. This generates some delay between when you finish the Lava Burst cast and when Earthen Strength becomes active for you to consume with Frost Shock. It is preferable to use Frost Shock with either (or both) of these buffs, but it can often result in no net gain in DPS, or if executed poorly, a loss in DPS. Ensure you do not hold onto Lava Burst charges for long as you may end up wasting enough DPS for it to be a loss.
- Cast Liquid Magma Totem on cooldown.
- Cast Elemental Mastery on cooldown, preferably lining up with every other use of Ascendance.
- Cast Flame Shock on both targets with the same considerations as single target.
- Replace Earth Shock with Earthquake, using it when your Maelstrom is 50 or higher.
- Replace Lightning Bolt with Chain Lightning, but use Lightning Bolt if you have Power of the Maelstrom.
- Make these changes, and do the single target rotation above.
- Cast Liquid Magma Totem if selected.
- Cast Elemental Blast if selected.
- Cast and maintain Flame Shock on all targets.
- Cast Earthquake.
- Cast Chain Lightning.
- Cast Lava Burst only with Lava Surge procs.
Stormkeeper – In encounters with multiple add spawns, it is often a gain to save Stormkeeper for when adds are up, both for increased DPS and for priority add burst. An example of this is Harjatan’s adds. Saving Stormkeeper to kill these 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 (but not so long that you’d lose another use of it during the encounter).
Smoldering Heart (Smoldering)
The Smoldering Heart is the best single legendary you can get, bar none. Its effect is massively powerful, giving Earth Shock a 11-12.5% chance, Earthquake a 5% chance, and Flame Shock/Frost Shock a 2% chance to grant Ascendance for 10 seconds. However, you must be aware of some playstyle changes and notes about this legendary that aren’t apparent from the tooltip.
- If you are using Icefury and you get Ascendance while Icefury is off cooldown or while you have Icefury stacks remaining, you should follow the Ascendance rotation priority. That is, you should use Elemental Blast, Lava Burst and Earth Shock. It is a DPS increase to do this over using Icefury or Frost Shock during this time.
- Lava Beam, the Ascendance-modified Chain Lightning, can now apply Lightning Rod and does trigger Lightning Rod damage. Therefore, this legendary no longer counters LR during AoE.
- You should never cast Ascendance if you have the Ascendance buff active from the gloves, as this will reset the duration instead of extending it.
- Rotation changes recommended: Cast as though you have Ascendance talented during the buff.
Special note about Gloves and the Casino/Gambling Spec:
A post about the Gambling/Casino build has been made here.