Ok so I have the water elemental and I used it in battle, but all it does is protect ITSELF AND it HARDLY ever attacks. Isn't sotmr the strongest school? It should have good attack spells instead of defese and if it's going to defend it should defend the wizard!
I think the idea of a minion is to support the wizard, not necessarily to act as another combatant. The water elemental protects itself while at the same time taunts the enemy; you know, sort of a "Nanny Nanny Boo Boo" to get them to attack the minion instead of the more vulnerable and low-healthed storm wizard. The balance minion (mander) supports the balance wizard by traps and pips and such. The life wizard (while a bit dense at times) supports the life wizard by healing part members (although it seems more interested in pixying herself when undamaged but that is another rant). As a death wizard, I tend to not use my minion much except as a back up. I do a lot of combos with traps and blades so my minion tends to kludge my LONG set-up combos with a fire elf.
I have a storm student because it will detract the enemy from me while I can raise my health if need be and get that spell that will help. Yes, it will protect itself but only so when it taunt the enemy, it won't be defeated and that way, protect you longer. The longer it lives, the better chance you have a defeating a tough boss.
I used my storm elemental (I call him Stormey) in the minotaur ghost battle in the Krokosphinx and it was very effective. He repeatedly taunted the monsters so that they would attack him instead of me, and by drawing their fire (and defending himself) that left me open to pound them into submission.
I am a Storm Wizard and have a Water Elemental and in my opinion it is worthless....especially when compaired to the Fire Wizard's Fire Elementals that I have watched in battle!
My Water Elemental has never drawn the enemy's attention from me when it was needed and I prefer the Minion you get from the ANIMATE card over my Water Elemental. While it (Animated Minion) might not have a lot of health points it does do a LOT better job than the Water Elemental. I did give my Water Elemental several chances in several different types of battles and in each one it failed me. I have tried bringing it out at different times with no change in it's performance. Now that I am in MarleyBone I find that using my Water Elemental is a waste of a turn and PIPs.
I am terriably disappointed in the Storm Wizard's Water Elemental...and the best I can do is cross my fingers on my wand hand and hope that the Wizard 101 Staff will look into giving it a make-over! ;)