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Enhancement Shaman DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities (Legion 7.1)

Last updated on Oct 28, 2016 at 18:29 by Furty 169 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we list your Enhancement Shaman core abilities and how they should be used together (rotation) in World of Warcraft Legion 7.1. 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 Author and Reviewer

This guide has been written by Furty who raids in Serenity, one of the top World of Warcraft guilds. He plays most classes at the highest level. You can follow him on Twitter and watch him play on Twitch.

This guide has been reviewed and approved by Wordup, the main Enhancement Shaman theorycrafter. You can find many resources on his YouTube channel.

1. Ability Priority List

The rotation of an Enhancement Shaman revolves around the following priority list. It is unchanged for single target or AoE.

  1. Maintain the Boulderfist Icon Boulderfist and Landslide Icon Landslide buffs.
  2. Maintain the Hailstorm Icon Hailstorm buff (if talented) with Frostbrand Icon Frostbrand.
  3. Cast Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning if it is available and 3+ targets are present and stacked.
  4. Maintain the Flametongue Icon Flametongue buff.
  5. Cast Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike whenever available (be alert for Stormbringer Icon Stormbringer procs!).
  6. Cast Boulderfist Icon Boulderfist if you have less than 130 Maelstrom and have 2 charges of Boulderfist Icon Boulderfist.
  7. Summon your Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirits if they are available. Be sure to use Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning immediately immediately afterwards to activate  Icon Alpha Wolf.
  8. Activate  Icon Doom Winds whenever available.
  9. Cast Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning when available if you are talented into Crashing Storm Icon Crashing Storm.
  10. Cast Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash when you have more than 110 Maelstrom Power.
  11. Cast Boulderfist Icon Boulderfist to generate Maelstrom Power.
  12. Cast Flametongue Icon Flametongue.
  13. Cast Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt if you are not in melee range.

Most of your damage comes from Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike, Boulderfist Icon Boulderfist, and Hailstorm Icon Hailstorm. The core component of this specialization is maintaining your personal buffs while avoiding capping Maelstrom as much as possible. Enhancement is a very procedural specialization, meaning that there is not much to take you by surprise. Getting comfortable with the ebb and flow of your Maelstrom is very important. Pay close attention to your personal auras and take full advantage of Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike whenever available. Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash should only be used to siphon off your excess Maelstrom to avoid capping resources, so take care not to overuse it.

For more information on your opening sequence, please refer to our dedicated section.

2. Important Notes

2.1. Doom Winds

 Icon Doom Winds is a very strong 1-minute cooldown. The Windfury Icon Windfury procs will immediately generate tons of incoming Maelstrom, allowing you to spam spenders such as Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash without fear. You can also use it defensively, siphoning some of the excess Maelstrom into Healing Surge Icon Healing Surge during particularly spooky incoming damage. Try to spend most of your Maelstrom before activating  Icon Doom Winds as you will be generating so much Maelstrom you will likely cap.

2.2. Crash Lightning Explained

It is natural to look at Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning and expect it to only be used in AoE situations, however, it is equally effective on a single target when you are talented into Crashing Storm Icon Crashing Storm (provided your target will not move out of the zone). Ensure that when you are using Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning in an AoE or cleave scenario that you position so that all targets are in front of you.

2.3. Tier 2 Talents

The Tier 2 talents offer a lot of flexibility in both raid utility and personal mobility. Both Boulderfist Icon Boulderfist and Flametongue Icon Flametongue sport a 10-yard range, and therefore opener range and mobility is not really an issue when considering which talent to take.

Feral Lunge Icon Feral Lunge will allow you to move around the battlefield in hectic add fights a little more easily, but at the cost of Wind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem, which is arguably the best raid movement cooldown in Legion. Spirit Walk Icon Spirit Walk provides enough mobility that leaning on Feral Lunge Icon Feral Lunge is generally unnecessary.

Wind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem should be your go-to as it allows for a massive speed increasing zone that can be refreshed at needed. While Wind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem reads as "within 10 yards", it is actually a 10-yard radius, allowing you create a massive 20-yard diameter zone that can span the breadth of the gap between melee and ranged.

Rainfall Icon Rainfall is a great idea, but unfortunately puts out very low amounts of healing currently. In most situations you can leverage a lot more utility out of the Wind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem than the pitiful healing from Rainfall.

2.4. Pandemic

Some of Enhancement's personal buffs (Flametongue Icon Flametongue and Hailstorm Icon Hailstorm) now benefit from "Pandemic", meaning that they can be refreshed when they have less than 30% of their duration remaining without penalty. The newly refreshed maximum duration will be added to the remaining duration of your buff, allowing you more flexibility for when you refresh. Ideally, you want to refresh during periods where Stormbringer Icon Stormbringer and Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike are unavailable. You should also consider your current Maelstrom Power so you can avoid overcapping resources. Remember the Boulderfist Icon Boulderfist and Flametongue Icon Flametongue both have a 10-yard range, so if you are dealing with mechanics that force you a little ways out of melee, that can be an ideal time to refresh and take advantage of that increased attack range. The pandemic values are as follows:

Remember, whenever your personal buffs have less than the above durations remaining, you are safe to refresh them as the currently remaining duration will be added to the maximum duration of the newly refreshed buff.

2.5. Healing Surge

Healing Surge Icon Healing Surge will consume 20 Maelstrom, if available, to become instant. This allows you a lot of personal survivability and flexibility, especially during periods of high incoming damage. Mechanics will occasionally force you out of range of the boss and healers as well, and in those situations this utility can be enormously beneficial. Do not forget about this amazing potential as it will save your life time and time again!

2.6. Lightning Bolt

Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt costs and generates no Maelstrom, and deals weak damage, but is instant cast with a 40-yard range. If you are ever forced entirely out of melee range, you can lean on Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt to offer you a little bit of damage until you can return to the boss. You should avoid the use of Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt otherwise, as it resets the melee swing timer, causing a loss in damage if you are in melee range.

3. Core Concepts

Enhancement Shaman appears to be a simple specialization, but there are still a variety of gameplay decisions to be made that will heavily influence your damage. Playing and mastering Enhancement largely revolves around perfecting the fundamental concepts, and keeping the number of minor mistakes to a minimum. Learning to focus on what is important and master the core concepts of a specialization is what leads to strong overall performances on the damage charts. Enhancement features 2 major concepts that form the central tenets of optimizing for success:

  1. Maelstrom management;
  2. Buff uptime.

3.1. Maelstrom Management

Managing your Maelstrom correctly is of the highest importance. Maelstrom is generated very quickly, and it can be easy to underestimate how much damage you can gain by correctly managing Maelstrom. Due to the speed of the rotation, you will be spending a lot of Maelstrom on Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning and Stormbringer Icon Stormbringer procs. It is very important not to overcommit too much Maelstrom to Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash, as it has a low damage to Maelstrom ratio when compared with Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike and Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning.

Do not be afraid to sit at high levels of Maelstrom, but do not allow yourself to overcap your resources. Any time Maelstrom Power reaches around 110 Maelstrom, it is generally best to Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash once to siphon off Maelstrom. You can Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash more frequently for increased burst, or wait longer to set up a burst window. Maelstrom level has a close relationship with your buff uptimes:

During Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirits Maelstrom will be generated significantly more rapidly, allowing Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash to be used more often. Having at least 50 Maelstrom in reserve is important, allowing you to immediately react to Stormbringer Icon Stormbringer procs and continue to cast Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning on cooldown. If you are sitting on middling levels of Maelstrom, and Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning and Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike are on cooldown, it is best to proceed by using Boulderfist Icon Boulderfist to generate increased Maelstrom, or use Flametongue Icon Flametongue if it is off cooldown, rather than using Lava Lash Icon Lava Lash.

3.2. Buff Uptimes

Boulderfist Icon Boulderfist and Hailstorm Icon Hailstorm both contribute a significant amount of damage to your overall output. Flametongue Icon Flametongue is not a major component of overall damage, but it is worth maintaining as it does respectable damage and Boulderfist Icon Boulderfist only has 2 charges. Keeping a wary eye on your buffs in very important, as refreshing when Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike and Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning are available will result in heavy damage losses. It is important to remember that refreshing a little early is fine, as your personal buffs will be extended by pandemic. It is recommended to take advantage of some form of aura tracking to aid in your ability to manage all three buffs.

4. Opening Sequence

  1. Optional: Activate Spirit Walk Icon Spirit Walk or place a Wind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem to help you and the other melee close the distance quickly.
  2. Use Potion of the Old War Icon Potion of the Old War or Potion of Prolonged Power Icon Potion of Prolonged Power (see Consumables page for more info).
  3. Cast Boulderfist Icon Boulderfist.
  4. Cast Frostbrand Icon Frostbrand (if talented Hailstorm Icon Hailstorm)
  5. Cast Feral Spirit Icon Feral Spirit.
  6. Cast Crash Lightning Icon Crash Lightning.
  7. Cast Flametongue Icon Flametongue.
  8. Cast Boulderfist Icon Boulderfist (unless Stormbringer Icon Stormbringer is procced - if so, cast  Icon Doom Winds + Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike).
  9. Activate  Icon Doom Winds and any racials or on-use trinkets.
  10. Cast Stormstrike Icon Stormstrike.

Follow the normal priority after this sequence, taking advantage of Stormbringer Icon Stormbringer whenever possible. If you are ever starved for Maelstrom, fit in a Boulderfist Icon Boulderfist cast.

5. ChangeLog

  • 28 Oct. 2016: Updated priotity system to include Alpha Wolf mention and cleaned up the opening sequence for additional clarity.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 24 Jul. 2016: Improved clarity in some sections.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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