Chain Lightning

Awhile back, Llyra introduced an elemental shaman, Tristan Trustyn Johnson, to Healing Way — and I got a challenge that I have been to lazy to complete until now.

The Question

With changes in 3.2.2, is it better to chain lightning on cooldown or just after Lava Burst?  If so, should shamans be respeccing in order to pick up the 5 points in Convection, reducing the mana cost of our most used spells by 10%?

The Experiment

I think no — I’ve run the charts, and I don’t think the risk vs. reward (mana consumption vs. increased damage output) is worth the payout of running chain lightning every cooldown.  If you’re curious where to find this information, go check out the SEICspreadsheet for elementals over at ElitistJerks.

I decided to test it in pseudo action, I’d try myself out on the target dummy with both styles.

  • No non-shaman buffs were used in this testing.
  • Shield: Water
  • Weapon Buff: Flametongue
  • Fire Totem: Totem of Wrath
  • Earth Totem: Strength of Earth
  • Water Totem: Healing Stream
  • Air Totem: Wrath of Air

I ran each test twice in order to give some semblance of validity to my tests.  Keep in mind, I am in my best elemental gear, but it is not best in slot by any means (i.e. I have some obvious healing pieces).  I’ll try to log out in it so you can see my personal shame 😛

Anyway, on to the test!

Chain Lightning Following Lava Burst

Test 1

Max DPS: 3011

OOM: 2:34

Test 2

Max DPS: 2998

OOM: 2:32

Chain Lightning on Cooldown

Test 1

Max DPS: 2934

OOM: 1:54

Test 2

Max DPS: 2847

OOM: 1:50.


Chain lightning on C/D fails for me personally.  Not only do I spend more mana, but I also fail to see a DPS increase at all.  While I’m willing to concede this is more likely due to my failure to execute the rotation faithfully, OR a problem with my gear, I just cannot see the justification for a talent change or a restructuring of my standard rotation.

I’d love to hear back from anyone with different results or more success with either option.