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The Best Elemental Shaman PvE DPS build

The Best Elemental Shaman PvE DPS build

One of the best DPS builds for the Shaman class in WoW: Battle for Azeroth

Elemental Shaman PvE DPS Build
Odealo's Pocket Guide
Updated for Patch 8.1.0

You can find all our Pocket Guides for other World of Warcraft classes right here: Best WoW Builds

Spec Overview

"Versatile" is the word that comes to mind first when we think about Elemental Shaman. These Casters have an impressive arsenal of spells which make them Jacks of all Trades of the Battle for Azeroth. Thanks to this, Elemental Shaman players will feel very comfortable in almost all Raid situations. Elemental is one of the best Specs when it comes to Burst Damage, the sustained DPS can prove to be lacking a bit in prolonged encounters, however.

 Pros  Cons
 Straight Foreward gameplay with the right talent choices  Survivability kit comes mostly from talents
 Great utility kit for Dungeons and Solo content  No mobility while bursting a target
 Many valid Talent choices provide a lot of alternatives   Sustained DPS is a bit lackluster
 Very high Burst Damage potential  Lack of mobility-related abilities

 

Statistics Priority

  1. Intellect - Primary stat for Elemental Shaman, it increases your Damage and Healing done by spells.
  1. Critical Strike - Increases damage done by your Spells by enabling them to sometimes do increased (Critical) Damage.
  1. Haste - Lowers your casting times and increases the tick rate of your Damage over Time spells.
  1. Versatility - Reduces all damage taken and increases all damage done.
  1. Mastery - Elemental Shaman's Mastery: Elemental Overload enables their Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning to, 15% of the time, trigger an additional Lightning cast on the same target.

 

The Best Talent Choices


Level 15: 
Recommended choice - Echo of the Elements
Echo of the Elements - Your Lava Burst now has 2 Charges; Any effect that normally resets its CD will grant an additional charge instead. This is the best single-target choice, as it works great with Master of the Elements.
Earthen Rage applies a 6s DoT to your last attacked target; this is worth consideration, as the effect is strong, but it gives a little less overall boost to single target DPS than Echo of the Elements combined with Master of the Elements. 
Elemental Blast
is an attack spell that also increases one of your primary stats for 10s and has a 12s cooldown with 2s casting time; it is too weak for consideration in the present state.

Level 30: 
Recommended choice - Totem Mastery
Totem Mastery -  Summons 4 Totems to your aid; they last 2 minutes and grant you 1 Maelstrom/s, 2% haste bonus, 10% extra damage from Flame Shock, and 5% higher chance of triggering Mastery: Elemental Overload. This is the best option in most scenarios, it greatly limits your mobility, however, and dynamic fights will require A LOT of Totem resummoning.
Aftershock makes your spells refound their Maelstrom cost 25% of the time, it has some potential, but is RNG dependent and therefore unreliable. Call the Thunder increases your max Maelstrom pool by 30 and reduces the cost of Earthquake and Earth Shock by 10 Maelstrom; it lowers the risk of over capping Maelstrom, which is not good enough to compete with the other two choices for this row.

Level 45: 
Recommended choice - Spirit Wolf
Spirit Wolf - While transformed into a Ghost Wolf your damage taken is reduced by 5% and movement speed is increased by 5% every 1 second; this effect stacks up to 4 times. This, while a bit slow to stack up, is a 20% damage reduction which is a very useful lifesaver in many Raid and Mythic+ encounters.
Earth Shield has too low of an impact to put it on a tank (when you play Elemental) and finds its uses mostly in Solo play, where that extra heal may prove to be helpful. Static Charge improves your Capacitor Totem by reducing its Cooldown by 5s for each stunned enemy (for a maximum of 20s CD reduction). Pick this only if you need some extra crowd control potential.

Level 60: 
Recommended choice - Master of the Elements
Master of the Elements - Casting a Lava Burst increases the damage done by your next Frost, Nature or Physical spell by 20%. This gives the highest DPS boost when combined with the Echo of the Elements.
Storm Elemental is a replacement for your Fire Elemental; it lasts 30s with a 2.5min cooldown and reduces the cast time of Chain Lightning and Lightning Bolt by 3% every time you cast either of them, this effect stacks up to 20 times. This Talent is quite strong and has some AoE potential. Liquid Magma Totem summons a turret that attacks a random enemy for 15s, while also dealing splash damage in the 8yd radius around the primary Target; it has 60s Cooldown. This is a solid AoE choice with some Burst Damage potential.

Level 75: 
Recommended choice - Nature's Guardian
Nature's Guardian - When your Health drops below 35% you get instantly healed for 20% of your max HP; This effect can trigger once per 45s, and will not prevent taking Fatal Damage. This is the recommended choice, as it can save your life and doesn't require any input from your side. It is great for chaotic encounters in which you often lose your concentration and are too slow to react to some deadly mechanics.
Ancestral Guidance converts 25% of your Damage and Healing into a Heal that targets up to 3 nearby injured Raid or Party Members. This can help your Team survive some heavy incoming damage and is a viable option for some encounters. Wind Rush Totem provides a 60% movement speed buff for 5s to everybody who passes nearby the place where said Totem is placed. It has some uses in movement and kite-heavy encounters where you put it in a designated location to help with mob-kiting or passing through an area quickly.

Level 90: 
Recommended choice - Icefury
Icefury - Deals moderate damage to a Target and causes your next 4 Frost Shocks to deal 100% more damage; it has 2s Cast Time 30 seconds Cooldown and generates 15 Maelstrom. This is the best choice for Single-target damage which also helps you to become more mobile, as the Frost Shock is an instant cast spell.
The Surge of Power gives your Earth Shock  an ability to enhance the next spell that you cast within 15s: Frost Shock freezes a Target in place for 6s, Lava Burst reduces CD of your Fire Elemental or Storm Elemental by 6s, Lightning Bolt causes additional 1-3 Mastery: Elemental Overload to trigger, Flame Shock hits 1 additional Target within 8yd from Primary Target; this might be quite strong in the right circumstances, but depends on a combat length and your Azerite Traits. Primal Elementalist improves your Elementals, giving them additional abilities and increasing their damage by 80%. This is a great overall choice, but it marginally loses with our recommended pick, because the Icefury synergizes with other Elemental Shaman's Talents better.

Level 100: 
Recommended choice - Stormkeeper
Stormkeeper - Next Two Lightning Bolts deal 150% damage, and next two Lightning Bolts or Chain Lightnings are cast instantly and trigger Elemental Overload on every target; it has 1.5s Cast Time and 1min Cooldown. This gives you the highest Damage boost with the most flexibility.
With Unlimited Power, You gain 2% Haste for 10s each time one of your spells triggers Elemental Overload; This effect stacks, but active stacks up time is not refreshed when next stack is gained. This Talents viability depends on the grade of your gear, it is still too weak on the current patch. Ascendance is a 15s transform spell, that refreshes the CD of your
Lava Burst while also increasing its damage proportionally to your Critical Strike value, and transforms your Chain Lightning into a Lava Beam; it has 3 min cooldown. This, while giving some nice Burst AoE potential is too weak to be considered in the current state.

 

The Basic Rotation

For the best single-target performance use the following priority list (please note that your rotation may differ greatly depending on your Talent choices):

  1. Totem Mastery if it is about to expire or you move out of Totems range
  1. Flame Shock if absent or about to expire (<6s left)
  1. Fire Elemental on Cooldown, unless Burst down phase is about to begin
  1. Earth Elemental on Cooldown if the Fire Elemental is not active
  1. Earth Shock on 60+ Maelstrom if the Master of Elements is active
 ⇒ 
  1. Stormkeeper on Cooldown, unless AoE phase is about to begin
  1. Lightning Bolt empowered with Stormkeeper if the Master of Elements is active
 +  ⇒ 
  1. Frost Shock is the Icefury and the Master of Elements are active
 +  ⇒ 
  1. Lava Burst on cooldown
  1. Frost Shock is the Icefury is active without the Master of Elements
 ⇒ 
  1. Icefury
  1. Totem Mastery if it is about to expire
  1. Earth Shock on 60+ Maelstrom if Lava Surge is not available
  1. Lightning Bolt to avoid downtime
  1. Frost Shock to avoid downtime while moving

 

Tips and Tricks for Improving your Gameplay

  1. Don't forget to use all of your abilities (changing Talents may cause some confusion, so always try to be mindful of what spells you have at your disposal while running any given Talent setup).
  1. Never overcap your Maelstrom, just cast Earth Shock to dump it while approaching max capacity.
  1. Avoid downtime by using instant spells while moving, and filler spells while your main spells are on CD or their Priority requirements are not met (see points 14 and 15 of our Priority List for a reference).
  1. Always analyze your gameplay and try to improve.

 

END NOTE

This is an early version of our guide, we plan to upgrade upon it, and add further sections. So please leave your suggestions in the comments section below. We would also like to state that this is meant as a pocket guide and therefore we will not go into too much detail (please visit more specialized sites for a much more in-depth build/stat/gear/rotation analyses).

Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Blizzard Entertainment Inc.