Elemental Shaman DPS Spec, Builds, Talents, and Glyphs (MoP 5.4)

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Elemental Shaman Art Image
General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent and glyph choices for Elemental Shamans in World of Warcraft MoP 5.4. We detail what each of the talents and glyphs do and in which situations they should be taken.

The other pages of our Elemental Shaman guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Leeds, one of the best Elemental Shamans in the world, who raids in Method. You can watch his stream on Twitch.

1. Talent Choices↑top

Level Choices
15 Nature's Guardian Stone Bulwark Totem Astral Shift
30 Frozen Power Earthgrab Totem Windwalk Totem
45 Call of the Elements Totemic Persistence Totemic Projection
60 Elemental Mastery Ancestral Swiftness Echo of the Elements
75 Rushing Streams Ancestral Guidance Conductivity
90 Unleashed Fury Primal Elementalist Elemental Blast
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  • Performance-enhancing
  • Survival
  • Crowd Control
  • Movement
  • Utility
  • Situational

There is no longer such a thing as a default build. Most of the talents are now viable. They can easily be changed, thanks to Dust of Disappearance Icon Dust of Disappearance (and Tome of the Clear Mind Icon Tomes of the Clear Mind from level 86 to 90). You will frequently find yourself changing talents and glyphs between encounters, in order to adapt your play style to different mechanics. Therefore, it is important to understand what each of your talents does and how they affect your play style.

2. Tier 1 Talents↑top

Tier 1 talents have been designed with your own survival in mind.

  • Nature's Guardian Icon Nature's Guardian will proc every time you receive a damaging attack that brings you below 30% health (although not more often than every 30 seconds). When Nature's Guardian procs, it immediately reduces your threat towards your attacker and increases your maximum health by 25% for 30 seconds (when the effect ends, your health percentage is preserved).
  • Stone Bulwark Totem Icon Stone Bulwark Totem is an Earth totem on a 1-minute cooldown that grants you an absorption shield for 30 seconds.
  • Astral Shift Icon Astral Shift reduces damage taken by 40% for 6 seconds. It has a 90-second cooldown.

Astral Shift Icon Astral Shift usually is the talent of choice here. Stone Bulwark Totem Icon Stone Bulwark Totem is viable when you need to absorb small amounts of damage for 30 seconds and Nature's Guardian Icon Nature's Guardian can be quite powerful in fights where you often take damage that brings you below 30% health, but its effect has the downside of not being controllable.

3. Tier 2 Talents↑top

Tier 2 talents have been designed with crowd control and utility in mind.

  • Frozen Power Icon Frozen Power causes your Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock to also root the target for 5 seconds.
  • Earthgrab Totem Icon Earthgrab Totem summons a totem that remains in place for 20 seconds, rooting every enemy within 10 yards for 5 seconds, after which time their movement speed is reduced by 50% (for as long as the totem is up and the enemies are within 10 yards).
  • Windwalk Totem Icon Windwalk Totem grants immunity to movement-impairing effects to all party and raid members within 40 yards. The effect lasts 6 seconds. Note that it also removes movement-impairing effects that are already applied on players.

Earthgrab Totem Icon Earthgrab Totem and Windwalk Totem Icon Windwalk Totem are the best choices, depending on which one will be the most useful to your raid. Windwalk Totem Icon Windwalk Totem is basically a raid-wide version of Hand of Freedom Icon Hand of Freedom and can be useful on many encounters. There often are other classes that can do a better job than Earthgrab Totem Icon Earthgrab Totem, so the opportunities to use it are rather limited.

Frozen Power Icon Frozen Power suffers from only being useful on a single target, but in that particular case (rooting a single enemy) the short cooldown of Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock makes Frozen Power better than Earthgrab Totem.

4. Tier 3 Talents↑top

Tier 3 talents have been designed with totem cooldown and mobility in mind.

  • Call of the Elements Icon Call of the Elements, which does not trigger the global cooldown, resets the cooldown of your totems that have a base cooldown shorter than 3 minutes:
  • Totemic Persistence Icon Totemic Persistence allows you to summon a second totem of the same kind, without destroying the first. It does not work with Fire totems and you can only have the effect active on a single kind of totem at a time. This means, that you cannot have, at the same time, two Earth totems and two Water totems.
  • Totemic Projection Icon Totemic Projection enables you to relocate your totems to a new location. Casting this spell does not trigger the global cooldown.

Call of the Elements Icon Call of the Elements should be chosen when neither of the two other talents can apply, although it will not work on totems that have a 3-minute cooldown.

Totemic Projection Icon Totemic Projection will be useful for moving your totems (mostly Searing Totem Icon Searing Totem, Magma Totem Icon Magma Totem, Healing Tide Totem Icon Healing Tide Totem, and Stormlash Totem Icon Stormlash Totem) to a new location without spending a global cooldown for it. This talent is primarily meant for encounters with a lot of movement, although you can use it with great success to keep relocating your crowd-control totems (Capacitor Totem Icon Capacitor Totem, Earthbind Totem Icon Earthbind Totem, or Earthgrab Totem Icon Earthgrab Totem) as the enemies you are targeting are moving out of the area of effect.

Totemic Persistence Icon Totemic Persistence may be situationally useful, for example when you want to use Stone Bulwark Totem Icon Stone Bulwark Totem without sacrificing your Earth Totem slot for utility.

5. Tier 4 Talents↑top

Tier 4 talents have been designed to improve your performance.

  • Elemental Mastery Icon Elemental Mastery increases your haste by 30% for 20 seconds. It has a 90-second cooldown.
  • Ancestral Swiftness Icon Ancestral Swiftness gives your next Nature spell an instant cast. It has a 1-minute cooldown. Ancestral Swiftness also passively increases your spell haste by 5% and your melee haste by 10%.
  • Echo of the Elements Icon Echo of the Elements gives you a chance to duplicate your spells that do direct damage or healing.

Echo of the Elements Icon Echo of the Elements is your default choice here, as it provides you with the most DPS and it scales best (by far) with your gear.

However, if the encounter demands you to provide really heavy burst outside of Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust / Heroism Icon Heroism / Time Warp Icon Time Warp, you can also use Elemental Mastery Icon Elemental Mastery.

6. Tier 5 Talents↑top

Tier 5 talents give you a new healing cooldown or a new healing mechanics.

  • Rushing Streams Icon Rushing Streams causes your Healing Stream Totem Icon Healing Stream Totem to heal two targets at once for 15% additional healing.
  • Ancestral Guidance Icon Ancestral Guidance causes you to heal up to 3 nearby injured party or raid members for 40% of the direct damage or 60% of the direct healing you do for 10 seconds. This ability has a 2-minute cooldown.
  • Conductivity Icon Conductivity is a passive ability that causes you to increase the duration of Healing Rain Icon Healing Rain when you cast direct healing and damaging spells. However, this cannot cause Healing Rain to last longer than 40 seconds.

Ancestral Guidance Icon Ancestral Guidance should be your default choice here. It particularly shines when the encounter requires burst healing support from you.

Conductivity Icon Conductivity can be useful, but only if the raid is stacked and is constantly taking high raid damage.

Rushing Streams Icon Rushing Streams is not a good choice and should be avoided.

7. Tier 6 Talents↑top

Tier 6 talents have been designed to improve your performance.

  • Unleashed Fury Icon Unleashed Fury upgrades your Unleash Elements Icon Unleash Elements by making it also increase the damage you do with Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt by 30% and with Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst by 10% for 10 seconds.
  • Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist causes your Earth Elemental Totem Icon Earth Elemental Totem and Fire Elemental Totem Icon Fire Elemental Totem to deal 80% more damage. They become regular pets (although they are not permanent) with abilities.
    • The Earth Elemental automatically casts Angered Earth Icon Angered Earth, Pulverize Icon Pulverize, and Harden Skin Icon Harden Skin. If you instruct it to, it will channel Reinforce Icon Reinforce on you, which will decrease the damage you take by 20% and increase the healing you do by 10%.
    • The Fire Elemental automatically casts Fire Blast Icon Fire Blast, Fire Nova Icon Fire Nova, and Immolate Icon Immolate. If you instruct it to, it will channel Empower Icon Empower on you, which will increase the damage you deal by 5% and increase the healing you do by 10%.
  • Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast is on a 12-second cooldown and will enable you to maintain a 66% uptime on a buff that changes randomly each time you refresh it: +3500 Critical Strike Rating, +3500 Haste Rating, or +3500 Mastery Rating. For Enhancement Shamans, the buff can also be +3500 Agility. The ability also deals a bit of damage every time you use it.

For a single-target encounter with little to no movement, you should use Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast.

If the encounter requires you to move a lot, or if you often have to AoE down adds with Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning, or you need a heavy damage burst, then you will go with Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist.

Unleashed Fury Icon Unleashed Fury is currently not performing as well as any of the other two talents and should not be used until Tier 16 Heroic gear levels, when it becomes the talent of choice for single-target fights.

8. Major Glyphs↑top

Below, you will find other glyphs that can improve your DPS, in specific situations.

  • Glyph of Chain Lightning Icon Glyph of Chain Lightning causes your Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning spell to strike 2 additional targets, but it deals 10% less initial damage. This glyph is a significant DPS increase if your Chain Lightning hits 4 or 5 targets.
  • Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem Icon Glyph of Fire Elemental Totem reduces the cooldown and duration of your Fire Elemental Totem Icon Fire Elemental Totem by 50%. This means that your Fire Elemental Totem will have a duration of 30 seconds (down from 1 minute) and a cooldown of 2 minutes and 30 seconds (down from 5 minutes). This glyph may be situationally useful in a fight that does not allow you to DPS uninterrupted for 1 minute. Prior to Patch 5.4, this glyph was more potent, because it gave your Fire Elemental Totem a 3-minute cooldown, allowing you to line it up with other cooldowns.
  • Glyph of Grounding Totem Icon Glyph of Grounding Totem turns Grounding Totem Icon Grounding Totem into a damaging ability that reflects a harmful spell back to its caster.
  • Glyph of Spiritwalker's Grace Icon Glyph of Spiritwalker's Grace increases the duration of Spiritwalker's Grace Icon Spiritwalker's Grace by 5 seconds, making it last 20 seconds in total. You will want to use this glyph when an encounter has periods of movements that last longer than 15 seconds.
  • Glyph of Thunder Icon Glyph of Thunder reduces the cooldown of Thunderstorm Icon Thunderstorm by 10 seconds, which will be very beneficial in AoE situations.

Finally, there are major glyphs that bring more utility to your spells.

  • Glyph of Capacitor Totem Icon Glyph of Capacitor Totem reduces the charging time of your Capacitor Totem Icon Capacitor Totem by 2 seconds. This means that it will stun all enemies within 8 yards after 3 seconds (instead of 5 seconds, without the glyph). This can be useful if a pack of enemies needs to be controlled rapidly.
  • Glyph of Flame Shock Icon Glyph of Flame Shock causes Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock to heal you for 30% of the damage it deals.
  • Glyph of Ghost Wolf Icon Glyph of Ghost Wolf makes you less susceptible to movement-hindering effects while in Ghost Wolf Icon Ghost Wolf form. This glyph can be useful in fights where you have to travel through areas that slow your movement speed.
  • Glyph of Healing Stream Totem Icon Glyph of Healing Stream Totem adds a damage reduction component to your Healing Stream Totem Icon Healing Stream Totem spell, which can be useful if your raid will be taking Fire, Frost, or Nature damage when you need to use Healing Stream Totem.
  • Glyph of Hex Icon Glyph of Hex reduces the cooldown of Hex Icon Hex by 10 seconds, which can be useful if you are assigned to crowd-controlling adds.
  • Glyph of Lightning Shield Icon Glyph of Lightning Shield causes you to take 10% less damage for 6 seconds every time your Lightning Shield Icon Lightning Shield is triggered. Note that Static Shock Icon Static Shock cannot trigger this damage reduction.
  • Glyph of Purge Icon Glyph of Purge causes your Purge Icon Purge spell to remove 1 additional Magic effect from an enemy target, but adds a 6-second cooldown. It can come in handy if your raid ever needs to simultaneously remove 2 Magic effects from a boss. Note that in most cases, it may be better to just let Mages Spellsteal Icon Spellsteal the effects.
  • Glyph of Unstable Earth Icon Glyph of Unstable Earth causes your Earthquake Icon Earthquake to also reduce the movement speed of enemies by 40% for 3 seconds (in addition to knocking them down).
  • Glyph of Wind Shear Icon Glyph of Wind Shear increases the cooldown of Wind Shear Icon Wind Shear by 3 seconds, but increases the school lockout duration it causes on the target. This glyph can be useful if having a 15-second cooldown on Wind Shear will not hinder your interrupting duties.

9. Minor Glyphs↑top

Minor glyphs are mostly cosmetic, although there are two of them that might be situationally useful.

10. Changelog↑top

  • 17 Jul. 2014: Made the Tier 5 talent explanations less ambiguous regarding the value of Rushing Streams.
  • 04 Feb. 2014: Improved explanations for Tier 1, Tier 3, an Tier 6 talents. Thanks to Tickle from Totemspot.
  • 10 Sep. 2013: Patch 5.4 update.
  • 19 May 2013: Patch 5.3 update: removed Glyph of Unleashed Lightning and added Glyph of Lightning Shield Icon Glyph of Lightning Shield.
  • 22 Apr. 2013: Update following Leeds' review of our Elemental Shaman guide.
    • Improved advice for choosing talents from Tiers 4, 5, and 6.
    • Emphasized just how useful Glyph of Unleashed Lightning is.
    • Made Glyph of Chain Lightning Icon Glyph of Chain Lightning appear more appealing that was previously mentioned in the guide.
  • 04 Apr. 2013: Update following Purge's review of our Enhancement Shaman guide.
  • 27 Mar. 2013: Updated description of Nature's Guardian Icon Nature's Guardian to properly reflect the Patch 5.2 change.
  • 09 Mar. 2013: Patch 5.2 update.