Vanilla WoW Wiki
Summon Water Elemental
Spell frost summonwaterelemental 2.png
  • Summon Water Elemental
  • 3 minutes cooldown
  • 16% of base mana
  • Instant cast
  • Summon a Water Elemental to fight for the caster for 45 sec.
Usable by
Cooldown3 minutes
Talent treeFrost, Tier 9
Cold Snap, Frost Channeling, Precision, Cold as Ice, Enduring Winter
Not to be confused with Summoned Water Elemental.

Summon 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 until its health is reduced to zero. The minion 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 its spells.


The [Glyph of Water Elemental] will reduce the cooldown of the summon spell by 30 seconds, while the [Cold Snap] ability will reset it. However, neither will affect the cooldowns of the minion's spells.

In World of Warcraft: Trading Card Game.

The [Frost Channeling] and [Precision] talents will reduce the mana cost of the summon spell, but not the minion's spells.

[Enduring Winter] increases the duration of your Water Elemental by 15 seconds (along with causing your [Frostbolt] to trigger the Replenishment effect).

Also as of 3.0.1, [Cold as Ice] will reduce the cooldown by 20%. If used in conjunction with the aforementioned Glyph of Water Elemental, this reduction is factored afterward, bringing the cooldown to 2 minutes.

In patch 3.3.0, it was implemented yet another glyph affecting mages' water elementals; [Glyph of Eternal Water] will allow the elemental to stay summoned infinitely, but at the cost of its Freeze-ability (see below).

Water Elemental abilities

The water elemental has two abilities, Waterbolt and Freeze. Waterbolt is the elemental's primary spell, and it will automatically use this spell when attacking an enemy. If the elemental is out of mana or the Waterbolt spell is deactivated, it will move closer to the target, but not attack until enough mana is regenerated to cast. This may lead to awkward pathing, although it is negligible in most scenarios. Freeze must be cast explicitly by the mage, as it requires a ground area target.

The Elemental receives a third of its master's spell power, 30% of its master's Stamina and Intellect, and 35% of its master's Armor.[1]


Spell frost frostbolt.png

The waterbolt spell is a direct damage frost-based attack. The cast time is 2.5 seconds. Base damage is based on the level of the water elemental, which is equal to the level of the mage. Each Waterbolt receives a damage bonus of five sixths the Elemental's spell power.

Level Mana Cost Damage
69 1% of base mana 474-547
70 1% of base mana 486-588


Spell frost frostnova.png

Freeze is a ground-targeted area of effect spell that will deal 114 to 126 frost damage and freeze all enemies in an 8 yard radius for up to 8 seconds. This is similar to the Frost Nova spell, except that it is ground-targeted, with a range of 35 yards from the elemental. The spell has a mana cost of 313 and a cooldown of 25 seconds.

A mage's water elemental minion

Tips and tactics

For a deep frost build, the water elemental provides a nice DPS boost in raid situations. The elemental can do a good bit of damage with its waterbolt during the 45 seconds it is summoned, with a comparatively small mana cost and no threat for the mage. The waterbolt damage does scale slightly with the mage's frost damage, and the minion's mana pool scales as well. With Cold Snap the elemental can be summoned twice in a single fight. The Water Elemental inherits the spell hit rating on his master's gear (but not that of talents like Precision).

The Freeze ability has many uses in PvP and in certain PvE situations. The ranged nature of the ability makes it useful for catching a runner out of reach of Frost Nova. It's also good in emergencies when the mage needs to escape and Frost Nova is on cooldown.

The Freeze ability can be cast and targeted at any time, which includes during a cast and while Ice Blocked. It does not affect the mage's global cooldown. This can be especially useful with Blizzard in both PvP and PvE. If the mage gets aggro from a group under his Blizzard, the Elementals' Freeze ability can be used in the middle of his casting, ensuring that the mage stays away from harm and the Blizzard is not interrupted.

Many frost mages rely on the "Shatter" talent to out-dps an opponent in PvP by critting when they are frozen. Since it can often be troublesome to frost nova and charge up a Frostbolt due to the fact that the player will either escape the nova or it will be broken by an ally, the Elemental's Freeze ability becomes invaluable. Once you have established some distance between you and your target, charge up a Frostbolt and Freeze the target just before the frostbolt hits them, and ice lance at the same time. This will ensure that the opponent has no chance to break the freeze, and your spells will get the crit bonus from shatter causing a huge burst of damage.

With a cooldown of 25 seconds, the elemental can potentially cast Freeze twice during each summon.

Mount related issues

In Cataclysm

Cataclysm This section concerns content exclusive to Cataclysm.

As of Patch 4.2, if the mage aggros a mob while on a ground mount, their elemental slows to %100 (run speed) and can fall behind and despawn.[2]

Helpful Macros

Combined summon/freeze

/cast [nopet][target=pet, dead]  Summon Water Elemental
/click PetActionButton5

This macro combines summoning the elemental and casting its Freeze spell into a single button. The first line will summon the elemental if it is not already out. If this line falls through, the next will cast the Freeze spell, bringing up the ground area target pointer. Note that the Freeze spell must be in the 5th button slot on the pet action bar, which is the default position for the spell.

This is useful in emergency situations where the mage needs the elemental's freeze ability right away. The freeze spell is then a simple two clicks. Also, combining these two functions into a single button saves space on a crowded action bar, with limited hotkeys.

Alternate Summon/Freeze

/cast [nopet][target=pet, dead] Summon Water Elemental; Freeze

This macro is similar to the above, but does not rely on pet casting bars to remain at default. As long as the elemental is active, the button will cast its targeted Freeze ability; otherwise it will summon the elemental. When the elemental is active, the cooldown and tooltip information for Freeze will be available; otherwise, the Elemental information will show.

Elemental auto-assist

/cast Frostbolt
/stopmacro [target=pettarget, exists]

Use this macro in place of your standard Frostbolt hotkey, and the water elemental will assist you if it is not already attacking something. This macro checks to see if the elemental has something targeted, and if not, it will assist you. If it is already attacking something, it will not change targets, allowing you to change targets as needed. This macro eliminates the need for a separate pet attack hotkey in most situations. However, if you need the elemental to change targets, it has to be commanded manually. Or, if you want it to always change to your current Frostbolt target, use the following macro:

/cast Frostbolt
/stopmacro [nopet]

Joint conditional nova, elemental, and elemental's nova

/cast [modifier:ctrl,nopet][target=pet, dead] Summon Water Elemental;
/cast [pet,nomodifier]Freeze
/cast [nopet]Frost Nova;
/cast [pet,modifier:shift]Frost Nova

If you don't have elemental out, it will cast Frost Nova. If you have him out, it will use Freeze, but if you hold shift and click, it'll use your nova regardless of whether or not he is out. If you control-click the macro, it will summon him, and if you control click it while he is already out, it will tell him to attack your new target. Note that depending on these conditions, including modifier keys, it will show the icon AND THE COOLDOWN of the appropriate spell- so you can see the cooldown on summoning him, using freeze, and using nova all on the same button, whether he is out or not.

Countering Water Elementals in PvP

Because of their high damage output and small health pool, it is often wise to kill water elementals summoned by enemy mages before they can do too much damage. Many players will disregard the elemental, simply hoping to kill the mage first or wait for the elemental to despawn. While in certain situations focusing the mage can work, in group combat especially frost mages tend to have quite high survivability, and make for difficult targets to burst down. For example, a melee class being kited by a frost mage would do well to quickly kill the mage's water elemental. Doing so not only nullifies a large portion of the mage's damage output, but also prevents the mage from re-using the water elemental's Freeze ability, which can be devastating when combined with a frostbolt and ice lance combo.

Most water elementals will have 3000-4000 health, making them a quick and easy kill. Assuming that it's allowed to focus fire a target without interruption however, and ignoring resists, a water elemental summoned by a mage with 0 spell damage will do approximately 8500 damage, whilst a mage with 800 spell damage (fairly easily obtainable with PvP gear) will summon a water elemental capable of outputting over 12500 damage over its lifetime.

A warlock can simply [Banish] the elemental.

Patch changes

  • Template:Patch 4.0.1Water Elemental made into a permanent pet when specializing in the frost talent tree at level 10.
  • Template:Patch 2.1.0


  1. Roywyn. WotLK - Complete Mage Compendium (3.3 Live). Elitist Jerks. Retrieved on 2009-01-10.
  2. Blizzard Entertainment Zarhym 2011-10-28. Mists of Pandaria Developer Q&A Transcript. Official World of Warcraft Community site (US).
       Blizzard Entertainment Zarhym 2011-10-27. Mists of Pandaria Live Developer Q&A Transcript. Official World of Warcraft Community site (EU).

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