Here is a guide to everything you will need to know about your Water Elemental. I will break down the Water Elemental’s spells, attributes, and the impact the pet will make in PvE and PvP. If you have anything you would like to add to this little guide, please let me know and I will gladly add any extra helpful information. -Updated: April 16, 2008-
The Water Elemental is essentially a Frost Mage’s best friend. It will save your frosty behind plenty of times, whether it be for a distraction to keep an enemy occupied, extra dps to kill something fast, or an extra Freeze to help you escape (Hmm… I don’t like to refer to my pet as “it”, so from now on I will use “he or him”). You will learn to love your watery companion, and eventually, will not be able to play again without your pet.
What is the Water Elemental?
The Water Elemental is a Mage ability granted by a talent in the Frost Tree. It summons a combat Water Elemental to fight with the Mage for 45 seconds. The elemental functions similarly to the Warlock’s minions or the Hunter’s pets. A pet action bar appears for the Mage to command the elemental and control his spells for its entire duration. He has two spells that he can use: Waterbolt and Freeze.
The Elemental is summoned by the spell: Summon Water Elemental.
The mana cost of the spell is 16% of your base mana, and can be reduced by Elemental Precision and Frost Channeling Talents, both of which are also in the Frost Talent Tree.
The spell has a 3 minute cooldown which can be instantly refreshed by Cold Snap. This also means that the spell is inadvertently affected by Ice Floes, which reduces the cooldown of Cold Snap by 20% which will give you more chances to summon your pet.
Control + 1: Attack
Control + 2: Follow
Control + 3: Stay
Control + 4: Waterbolt (toggle on/off)
Control + 5: Ranged frost nova
Control + 8: Aggressive
Control + 9: Defensive
Control + 0: Passive
Your Elemental’s stats will scale with the gear you have on. He will receive 30% of your Intellect and Stamina. Each point of Intellect will increase his mana by 5, and each point of Stamina will increase his health by 7.5.
The Water Elemental is also affected by your + Frost Damage. Your pet will receive 40% of your + Frost Damage.
Waterbolt is the Elemental’s main attack. It has a 2.5 second cast and does Frost Damage. Its base damage is 256-328 and is affected by your + Frost Damage.
You pet will receive 40% of your + Frost Damage, but since the spell is a 2.5 second cast, Waterbolt only scales with 71.43% of the Water Elemental’s spell damage. What that means is that Waterbolt receives 28.57% of your + Frost Damage.
Unlike Frostbolt, it is not a binary spell, and can be partially resisted. When the spell crits, it does 150% damage. The spell is also affected by the Winter’s Chill debuff you apply to your target, which will increase the critical strike % of all Frost Spells by up to 10%.
Freeze is the Elemental’s secondary attack. It is essentially a 35 yard ranged Frost Nova with a 25 second cooldown. This means the elemental may only use this ability up to two times in his duration.
This ability can only be cast manually by the user. When activated, it will give you an area affect grid similar to Flamestrike in which you can place anywhere within the Elemental’s 35 yard range. When used, it will hit all enemies in an 8 yard radius for 74-86 Frost Damage, and freeze them in place for 8 seconds.
The Water Elemental is immuned to all Frost Damage and Poisons. The pet can however be banished.
Raiding with your Water Elemental:
The Water Elemental provides a great boost in DPS for a small cost of mana, with zero additional threat cause to you. Your Elemental will account for about 10% of your total damage output in a raid environment. To maximize this, you must be able to manage your cooldowns as efficiently as possible.
Also, don’t be afraid to use your pet on trash pulls. It only has a 3 minute cooldown, and will most likely be up by the time you reach the boss.
Pop your Trinkets BEFORE summoning your Water Elemental. Your pet recieves 40% of your + Frost Damage when you summon him. Increasing your + Frost Damage right before summoning him will increase his DPS, which in turn will increase yours. Try to time your trinkets with the summoning of your pet as best as you can.
Use Cold Snap to summon your pet more often. In long boss fights in which you don’t need your Ice Block to remove any deadly debuffs, don’t be afraid to use Cold Snap. If the fight is going to last longer than 7 minutes, summon your pet towards the beginning of the fight and use Cold Snap right away. Once your first Elemental expires, summon him out again. Towards the end of the fight, your Cold Snap cooldown will be up for you to summon him another time.
Keep your pet alive. Dead DPS = Zero DPS. Void Reaver’s Arcane Orb headed in your direction? Make sure you put your pet on “follow” so he doesn’t get hit by the explosion. Gruul’s Cave In above your head? Do the same thing.
The Water Elemental is immuned to a lot of bosses abilites such as Gruul’s Shatter and Lurker’s Water Sprout. Research ahead of time to find out the best time to summon your pet for each boss fight.
Your pet’s mana pool usually last long enough for him to chain cast for 35-40 seconds, leaving him with about 10 seconds of just standing there. Having a Shadow Priest or a Mana Totem in your group will help increase his DPS a bit.
Speaking of group buffs, your pet will benefit from any raid or group buffs or auras as long as they can be applied to him after he is summoned.
Water Elemental isn’t affected by your spell haste rating, but he can benefit from Heroism as long as he is summoned BEFORE Heroism is popped. If he is summoned after Heroism is used, he will not recieve the buff.
PvPing with your Water Elemental:
The Water Elemental will give you the extra damage needed to take down your opponent. If left alone for the full duration, your Elemental will be able to do around ~10,000 damage at level 70.
Not only that, it will give you two ranged Frost Novas with his ability, Freeze. That will open up many opportunities to escape melee, and to get in more Shatter Combos.
Don’t summon your pet on terrain which may affect his line of sight. Your opponent may use pillars and bridges to their advantage to avoid taking any damage from your Water Elemental.
Use your Freezes. It is the best spell your pet brings to the PvP table. More frozen targets equals more Shatter crits. It also makes keeping a distance from melee ten times easier.
Like I said before, if left alone, he can do about ~10k damage (that is if you are close to 800 spell damage). If your opponent is going to ignore your pet, kite him away from pet and Ice Block. If he won’t turn his attention to your pet, he will take a hefty amount of pain. If he does turn to your pet, cancel your Ice Block early and unleash your fury without being interrupted.
Catch the flag runner. If you are in combat and chasing after the flag runner but he is outside your Blink + Frost Nova range, you can summon your pet to catch him for you. The Elemental’s Freeze range is 35 yards. Use it wisely.
Don’t summon your pet too early. If you do this, before you engage your opponent, they may simply try to stay away from you until your pet expires. It is best to summon in the middle of the fight, or when you are sure to land a good Shatter Combo (eg. he is sheeped, sapped, stunned, or rooted).
Water Elemental Mods:
The mod I use is called Frosty, which keeps track of all Water Elemental cooldowns. There is a castbar for the Water Elemental’s Waterbolt, a cooldown bar for when you use Freeze so you know when it is back up, an expiration bar for the 45 seconds the pet is out, and a cooldown bar for when the cooldown is up for you to summon your Water Elemental again.
You can download the mod here: Frosty – Mage Water Elemental Addon
You can sacrifice your pet’s life to save your own. Have you ever agro’d something by accident that you know you can’t solo? Say you agro’d one of those Giant Guardian guys at Netherwing Ledge while doing your herbing daily. Normally if you agro one of those guys you are pretty much dead. Not with your trusted sidekick! The Giant will club you for about a third of your health, you summon elemental and then Ice Block. Once he turns his attention to your pet, immediately cancel Ice Block, Blink away and hit Invisible. It will take the Giant two swings or more to take out your pet, giving you enough time for you fully invis out (5 seconds).
If you are farming certain mobs in an area with lots of competition, you may use your pet to tag mobs for you while you are busy fighting your current target. It may take some micromanagement, but it gets the job done.
Sources: Wowwiki.com, Wowhead.com, Wow.allakhazam.com, WoW>Mage Forums