TBC Elemental Shaman Questiona

I’m sure you’ve probably answered this a million times and if you have a link to the answer I’ll take that bud. When I take all the default raid buffs off, leave everything else on default, just to see self buff damage, when I calculate, it wants me using int gems. I’m contributing that to the 180 default duration of the fight. When changing it to say 30 seconds it does swap to SP which a lot of other sites recommend.

I have no problem respecing to int if I’ll see a major change in the charts. With full spell power gemming I’m constantly chugging mana pots. I can tend to time it just enought to finish ZA and Hyjal bosses, sometimes, I’ll be waiting 30sec for a pot. But I digress.

Question is, I know int is more mana and crit, but I’m at a pivotal point where I don’t have any T6 yet and like 80 badges and I wanna find my best upgrade.

  • Side note I really wish we could choose multiple sections on the raider item upgrade finder. Example say I have a Hyjal raid coming up and I want to compare those drops against the new badge gear. Is there a way to just check those 2 categories like you can with the raids?

With the auction house gems all kinds of F’d up, I can’t afford 12k on spinals after the ints don’t work. Well, I could, but don’t want too lol

Shout out, loved your website work for years.


The main reason we have it sectioned out is for performance purposes - the classic site is already pretty slow (compared to retail). You could use the “add to my bag” search if there are particular badge and raid items you want to compare with each other. You can only do 10 items at a time - so I don’t know if that would be too limiting for what you are looking at or not.

Regarding the gems: the amount of damage you get from gems is really small. The change in damage you will see between int gems vs SP gems (or some hybrid) is even smaller. Honestly I think it’s going to be hard for you to tell if it “works” in-game.

One thing to keep in mind is that the optimizer is assuming you are casting spells with no interruption for the entire duration. If your fights are actually 180 seconds, you might want to optimize for a shorter duration if you know there is significant time spent moving or lost to other mechanics.

You’ll also want to take into account whether or not there are parts of the fights where it is important to kill something fast, like adds. Maybe being able to do that a little faster will matter more than your total damage over the course of the whole fight. There is a level of subjectivity to the best way to gear.

If it were me, I’d follow what the optimizer says if what I cared about most was sustained boss damage for the duration I’m optimizing for. If I wanted to feel stronger in burst or AoE sections of fights, I’d probably reduce the duration I’m optimizing for to a much shorter duration.

And then I’d remember that I probably won’t be able to empirically tell a difference, unfortunately.

It is also worth noting that, as your item level goes up, the spell power you have on the base items goes up. So, using gems for intellect to get an extra spell or two becomes more and more efficient from a gem budget perspective over time.

On the other hand, maybe higher item levels give you more base mana and fight times get shorter and shorter as everyone gets more gear, so you will have less mana issues.

I’d try to weigh those concerns to future proof my gear and avoid changing gems over time.

Elemental is a pretty mana-hungry spec, though.