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Starym

Elemental Shaman in the Shadowlands: Class Recommendations and Spec Highlights

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Update: the Elemental pre-patch guide is ready and you can check it out here:
Elemental Shaman Shadowlands Guide

With this week's changes, it's time to take a look at Elemental Shamans, which got quite a bit of work done... and then undone as well! Our elemental expert Stormy takes on the changes that are sticking around for now, Covenant choice, legendaries and more in this Shadowlands and pre-patch spec highlights article.

Exciting Changes for Elemental Shaman in Shadowlands

After Blizzard decided to ditch their attempt at changing Maelstrom to Fulmination, Elemental is back to feeling very familiar. However, Shadowlands brings many changes to the spec, bringing new baseline abilities and some talent changes. Only one of our Covenant abilities interacts with our kit, but it does so in an interesting way. Some of the Legendary Powers we will have access to are also quite powerful.
 

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New Baseline Shaman Spells

The following spells are now baseline for every Shaman specialization:

  • Chain Heal Chain Heal - Heals the friendly target for (255.5% of Spell power), then jumps to heal the 2 most injured nearby allies. Healing is reduced by 30% with each jump.
  • Flametongue Weapon Flametongue Weapon - Imbue your weapon with the element of Fire for 1 hour, causing each of your attacks to deal additional Fire damage.
  • Frost Shock Frost Shock - Chills the target with frost, causing (45% of Spell power) Frost damage and reducing the target's movement speed by 50% for 6 sec.
  • Healing Stream Totem Healing Stream Totem -  Summons a totem at your feet for 15 sec that heals an injured party or raid member within 40 yards for (47% of Spell power) every 2 sec.
  • Lightning Shield Lightning Shield - Surround yourself with a shield of lightning for 30 min. Melee attackers have a 100% chance to suffer (3.6% of Attack power) Nature damage and have a 100% chance to generate 5 Maelstrom. Only one Elemental Shield can be active on the Shaman at a time. 
  • Primal Strike Primal Strike - An instant weapon strike that causes 34% Physical damage.
     

 Elemental Shaman Talent Changes

Other Changes

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Covenant Choices

Kyrian Ability

Vesper Totem Vesper Totem: Summon a totem at the target location for 30 seconds. Your next 3 damage spells or abilities will cause the totem to radiate (95% of Spell Power) Arcane damage to up to 6 enemies near the totem, and your next 3 healing spells will heal up to 6 allies near the totem for (85% of Spell Power) Health. Casting this ability again while the totem is active will relocate the totem.
(Instant, Costs 10% of Base Mana, 40-yard range, 60-second cooldown)

This is probably the strongest covenant ability for Elemental Shamans. It is versatile and powerful in every situation.
 

Night Fae Ability

Fae Transfusion Fae Transfusion: Transfer the life force of up to 4 enemies in the targeted area, dealing (414% of Spell Power) Nature damage to each enemy over 3 seconds. Pressing Fae Transfusion again within 20 seconds will release 15% of all damage from Fae Transfusion, healing up to 8 allies near yourself.
(3-second cast, Costs 7.5% of Base Mana, 40-yard range, 2-minute cooldown)

This is a fairly weird ability. It is unlikely to be sought after unless its numbers are higher than they are right now.
 

Venthyr Ability

Chain Harvest Chain Harvest: Send a wave of anima at the target, which then jumps to additional nearby targets. Deals (345% of Spell Power) Shadow damage to up to 5 enemies, and restores (255.5% of Spell Power) Health to up to 5 allies. For each target critically struck, the cooldown of Chain Harvest is reduced by 5 seconds.
(Instant, Costs 10% of Base Mana, 40-yard range, 1.5-minute cooldown)

While not very interesting, this does give significant damage and healing which can be handy in a variety of situations, especially in dungeons.
 

Necrolord Ability

Primordial Wave Primordial Wave: Blasts your target with a Primordial Wave, dealing (65% of Spell Power + 65% of Attack Power) Shadow damage and apply Flame Shock Flame Shock to an enemy or heal an ally for (65% of Spell Power + 65% of Attack Power). Your next Lava Burst Lava Burst will also hit all targets affected by your Flame Shock Flame Shock.
(1.5-second cast, Costs 10% of Base Mana, 40-yard range, 45-second recharge)

While this is a pretty cool ability that synergizes with our kit, it is fundamentally niche and makes the ability, and therefor the Covenant, unlikely to see play.
 

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Legendary Effects

While there are other generic Legendary effects, I'm only going to touch on the ones specific to Elemental Shaman (although you can check out the rest of the shaman ones here and generic ones here).

Echoes of Great Sundering Echoes of Great Sundering (Shoulder/Hands) — When you cast Earth Shock Earth Shock  or Elemental Blast Elemental Blast, your next Earthquake Earthquake will deal 250% additional damage.
Should be very strong for dungeons, solo play and encounters containing any kind of regular cleave/AoE.

Elemental Equilibrium Elemental Equilibrium  (Legs/Feet) — Dealing direct Fire damage increases the damage of your next Frost spell by 30%. Dealing Frost damage increases the damage of your next Nature spell by 25%. Dealing Nature damage increases the damage of your next Fire spell by 20%.
This is very similar to Master of the Elements Master of the Elements and might be used withIcefury Icefury. 
It is unlikely  to change rotations, the numbers are simply not high enough.

Skybreaker's Fiery Demise Skybreaker's Fiery Demise  (Chest/Finger) — Flame Shock Flame Shock damage over time critical strikes reduce the cooldown of Fire Elemental Fire Elemental by 1 second, and Flame Shock Flame Shock  has a 30% increased Critical Strike chance.
This is probably going to be the go-to legendary on any fights where you will multidot a lot. 

Windspeaker's Lava Resurgence Windspeaker's Lava Resurgence  (Back/Feet) — When you cast Earth Shock Earth Shock  or Elemental Blast Elemental Blast, gain Lava Surge Lava Surge  and increase the damage of your next Lava Burst Lava Burst by 30%.
This does not seem particularly powerful, although it does give fairly convenient guaranteed mobility as well as a small burst.

 

Conclusion

After trying to change quite a lot, Blizzard ended up reverting the majority of their changes, and Elemental is back to being quite similar to what it was in BfA. We gain some things and lose others, overall ending up in a slightly stronger place in my opinion, if you consider that we were losing the BfA specific bonuses anyway. The legendary powers should help complement various playstyles and encounters, and unlocking them all quickly is going to be important. It is still hard to say which Covenant will be best, although Kyrian and Venthyr seem to be the safer bets currently.
 

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Other Spec Highlights:

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Isn't Lightning Shield's description wrong? It mentions generating a stack of Fulmination, but Maelstrom is back as a resource. Also is Primal Strike back? Thought it was only given for enhancement, as it felt rather useless for a caster.

Edited by Arcling

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Primal Strike is back but it shouldn't really be a button you ever use at least at current tuning. You're right on the Lightning Shield part, I forgot to update it, my bad! 

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All the Covenant abilities look interesting and worthy of experimentation. As someone who loves being a hybrid, I like the Night Fae one on paper at least.

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3 hours ago, Libraridan said:

All the Covenant abilities look interesting and worthy of experimentation. As someone who loves being a hybrid, I like the Night Fae one on paper at least.

As an elemental shaman who enjoys saving groups with clutch off heals, I enjoy the Kyrian one a lot. I can imagine dropping that totem and then chain healing to stabilize a group after a big chunk.

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This is the PvE review of Ele Shaman.

Meanwhile in PvP, remember all those Lava Burst-related underwhelming things Stormy talked about?

Necrolord's Primordial Wave, Windspeaker's Legendary, new Elemental Ascendance, Echoing Shock (also the PvP talent totem, and Control of Lava if you want although it doesn't look like CDew used it on clip below).

Put them together and you have a one shot on the whole enemy arena team at the same time 🤣https://clips.twitch.tv/TentativeBlazingGrouseTTours

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