Enhancement Shaman DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (WoD 6.0.2)

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Enhancement Shaman Art Image
General Information

On this page, we list your Enhancement Shaman core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation) in World of Warcraft WoD 6.0.2. We also explain when to use your various cooldowns. Then, we go deeper and present all the subtleties that you will need to know if you want to excel at playing an Enhancement Shaman.

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

About Our Reviewer

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Purge, one of the best Enhancement Shamans in the world, who often contributes to the Enhancement Shaman section of Totem Spot.

6.0.2 Transition Guide

If you want to read all about the Patch 6.0.2 changes and learn how they affect your character, make sure to read our Shaman Transition Guide!

1. Single Target Rotation↑top

The rotation of an Enhancement Shaman revolves around the following priority list.

  1. Summon Searing Totem Icon Searing Totem and refresh it when it expires.
  2. Cast Unleash Elements Icon Unleash Elements, if you have chosen Unleashed Fury Icon Unleashed Fury as your Tier 6 talent or if you have the Tier 16 2-piece bonus.
  3. Cast Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt if you have 5 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon.
  4. Cast Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike (Windstrike Icon Windstrike during Ascendance Icon Ascendance).
  5. Cast Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash.
  6. Apply Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock if it is not applied and refresh it when it has less than 9 seconds remaining and Unleash Flame Icon Unleash Flame is up.
  7. Cast Unleash Elements Icon Unleash Elements.
  8. Cast Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock.
  9. Cast Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt with 1 or more stacks of Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon.
  10. Refresh Searing Totem Icon Searing Totem, if it has less than 20 seconds remaining.

If you chose Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast as your Tier 6 talent, then using it on cooldown becomes your highest priority.

2. Multiple Target Rotation↑top

Against 2 enemies, simply keep doing your single-target rotation on one enemy, and start using Fire Nova Icon Fire Nova on cooldown. Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash will spread your Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock to the other enemy. Replace Searing Totem Icon Searing Totem with Magma Totem Icon Magma Totem.

Against 3 or more enemies, replace Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt with Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning in your rotation and drop Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock. Use Unleash Elements Icon Unleash Elements before casting Fire Nova Icon Fire Nova (when possible). It is important not to waste Unleash Elements on Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock for multiple-target situations, because Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash spread Flame Shock to other targets without the damage buff from Unleash Elements (i.e., if you have an Unleash Elements-buffed Flame Shock on a target, you will get a normal Flame Shock on nearby enemies after using Lava Lash).

3. Shield↑top

Use Lightning Shield Icon Lightning Shield.

Lightning Shield Icon Lightning Shield lasts for 1 hour and damage does not cause it to drop.

4. Cooldown Usage↑top

As an Enhancement Shaman, you have 3 main cooldowns:

In addition, your talents grant you a number of other DPS and healing cooldowns, and you have a few defensive cooldowns as well. We detail them all in our additional cooldowns section.

5. Optional Read: Mastering Your Enhancement Shaman↑top

While the rotations we gave in the previous sections will yield very good results, the single-target and multiple-target rotations of an Enhancement Shamans have many subtleties. Understanding them will help you play your character to its full potential.

5.1. Stormstrike and Nature spells

Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike is a special melee attack that applies a debuff on your target, increasing your chance to critically hit with Nature spells (Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning, Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt, Lightning Shield Icon Lightning Shield, Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast) on that target by 25%.

5.2. Unleash Elements, Flame Shock, and Fire Nova

Unleash Elements Icon Unleash Elements gives you a 20-second buff called Unleash Flame Icon Unleash Flame when you use it. It increases the potency of your next Fire spell. Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock and Fire Nova Icon Fire Nova are the only Fire spells in your arsenal (Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash deals Fire damage, but it is a melee attack, not a Fire spell). So, you will always want to consume Unleash Flame Icon Unleash Flame with Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock in single-target damage use Unleash Flame Icon Unleash Flame on Fire Nova Icon Fire Nova in multiple-target situations.

If you choose Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast as your Tier 6 talent, it can benefit from Unleash Flame Icon Unleash Flame, but not enough that it replaces Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock as your spell of choice to consume Unleash Flame with.

5.3. Maelstrom Weapon and Lightning Bolt

Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon is a stacking self-buff that each of your melee attacks has a chance to apply. Each stack of Maelstrom Weapon decreases the cast time and Mana cost of some of your spells, most notably Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt.

At 5 stacks, your Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt costs no Mana and has an instant cast. This is why you should, in most cases, wait until you have 5 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon before using Lightning Bolt.

The only time when you want to use Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt with fewer than 5 stacks of Maelstrom Weapon Icon Maelstrom Weapon is when all your other spells are on cooldowns and you have nothing to do, or when you are away from the boss and cannot physically reach him/her.

5.4. Multiple Target Rotation Subtleties

If you perform your normal single-target rotation on a boss or a priority target (an add from the pack you are trying to kill, for example), any nearby enemy will already take a decent amount of collateral damage from Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock being spread by Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash. As we have already pointed out, if you spread a Flame Shock that has been empowered by Unleash Flame Icon Unleash Flame, it will spread to other targets as a non-empowered Flame Shock (so without the damage buff from Unleash Flame).

When fighting a boss surrounded by adds, you should take advantage of the very high damage that Fire Nova Icon Fire Nova does, especially when empowered by Unleash Flame Icon Unleash Flame. Even if the boss is the main priority, using Fire Nova to detonate the Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock that Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash has spread to the adds should be your main concern, as it will deal a massive amount of damage to the boss.

5.5. Kiting

As an Enhancement Shaman, you will make a great kiter, thanks to Ghost Wolf Icon Ghost Wolf (which you can improve with Glyph of Ghost Wolf Icon Glyph of Ghost Wolf), Spirit Walk Icon Spirit Walk, and Earthbind Totem Icon Earthbind Totem, which allow you to safely run away from the enemies you are assigned to kite. You can also use Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock to slow down specific enemies.

When kiting, you should try to move in a circular manner. To achieve that, you should always be moving sideways (left or right) and use the camera control (by default, the mouse right button) to try and rotate around a fixed point. The idea is that it enables you to target the enemies you are kiting and it makes it easier to group them together.

Your main problem will be to get initial aggro on a pack of enemies because of your lack of repeatable, instant cast time AoE damage ability. Your best choice is to use Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock followed by a Fire Nova Icon Fire Nova but you have very little room for error, due to the cooldowns on these abilities. Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning (with Glyph of Chain Lightning Icon Glyph of Chain Lightning preferably) can work for small groups of enemies.

5.6. Additional Cooldowns

5.6.1. Defensive Cooldowns

We consider that you have 4 defensive cooldowns.

Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit is usually categorised as an offensive cooldown. This ability does damage, and this is what matters to a DPS class. That said, your wolves have a passive ability called Spirit Hunt Icon Spirit Hunt, which will heal you for 225% of the damage the wolves do (315% with Glyph of Feral Spirit Icon Glyph of Feral Spirit). It means that your wolves do more healing than damage. Therefore, you can perfectly use them as a healing cooldown in times of high damage, if you want to help your healers a bit.

Shamanistic Rage Icon Shamanistic Rage reduces all damage taken by 30% for 15 seconds. With Glyph of Shamanistic Rage Icon Glyph of Shamanistic Rage, it also removes all dispellable debuffs from you. It has a 1-minute cooldown.

Spirit Walk Icon Spirit Walk removes all movement-impairing effects from you and increases your movement speed by 60% for 15 seconds. It has a 1-minute cooldown, which you can reduce to 45 seconds with Glyph of Spirit Walk Icon Glyph of Spirit Walk.

Healing Stream Totem Icon Healing Stream Totem is a decent healing ability.

5.6.2. Tier 1 Talents

Your Tier 1 of talents gives you access to 2 additional defensive cooldowns that are mutually exclusive: Stone Bulwark Totem Icon Stone Bulwark Totem and Astral Shift Icon Astral Shift. Simply use them whenever needed, following the guidelines we gave in the talents page.

5.6.3. Tier 4 Talents

Ancestral Swiftness Icon Ancestral Swiftness gives you an instant-cast Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt or Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning every minute. The best way to use it is to make a macro (see our Ancestral Swiftness macro).

Elemental Mastery Icon Elemental Mastery greatly increases your damage throughput for 20 seconds, so you should use it on cooldown or keep it for times when you deal increased damage.

5.6.4. Tier 5 Talents

Ancestral Guidance Icon Ancestral Guidance is a powerful healing cooldown that you should use in times of high raid-wide damage during which you also deal a large amount of damage.

5.6.5. Tier 6 Talent: Primal Elementalist

If you chose Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist as your Tier 6 talent, you can get your Earth Elemental Totem Icon Earth Elemental Totem and your Fire Elemental Totem Icon Fire Elemental Totem to respectively channel Reinforce Icon Reinforce and Empower Icon Empower on you. While they are channeling, your Elementals are not doing any damage.

Reinforce Icon Reinforce reduces the damage you take by 20%. As your Earth Elemental does not do much damage, you should never hesitate to let it channel Reinforce if you are taking damage.

Empower Icon Empower increases the damage you do by 5%. Your Fire Elemental does a significant amount of damage and, in the general case, increasing your damage by 5% does not make up for the damage your Fire Elemental is not doing while channeling. If you are in a situation where 5% of your damage represents a larger amount than the damage your Fire Elemental deals, then it is beneficial to let your Elemental channel Empower.

Both channels also increase the healing you do by 10%, but this will rarely affect your decision as to whether you should let your Elemental channel.

5.7. Tier 16 Bonuses

With the T16 2-piece bonus, Unleash Elements Icon Unleash Elements becomes your top priority, regardless of the Tier 6 talent you chose.

With the T16 4-piece bonus, you will need to focus on spreading Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock to as many targets as possible in multiple-target situations. This way, your Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash cooldown will have a higher chance to reset.