TBC Classic Elemental Shaman Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities

Last updated on May 30, 2021 at 16:33 by Seksixeny 7 comments

On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Elemental Shaman in both single-target and multiple-target PvE situations in TBC Classic. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your DPS.



If you have not already, please read the spells summary page. Knowing how each spell and ability works in detail will make it much easier to understand the topics discussed on this page.


Rotation for Elemental Shamans

We will present the skill rotation of an Elemental Shaman as a priority list. This is not an exact sequence in which abilities should be cast. Instead, what it means is, whenever you must choose between using different skills, try to use the one at the top of the list first.

Our recommendations assume you are running one of the recommended talent builds from the talents page and are playing a max level character. If you are still leveling, please refer to the leveling page for a leveling-specific rotation.

While they are extraordinarily powerful, explosives such as Super Sapper Charge Icon Super Sapper Charge will not be detailed in the rotation. Usually, you will want to use them as soon as the tank has solid threat on the target. The main exception is when you are facing multiple or particularly dangerous (such as enraged) enemies at some point in the fight. Saving explosives to carry you and your group through these moments (and possibly do a ton of AoE damage in the process) is probably worth it.


Single-Target Rotation for Elemental Shamans

  1. Place down your totems (party-dependent but generally will include at least Totem of Wrath IconTotem of Wrath);
  2. Chain Lightning IconChain Lightning (+ Elemental Mastery IconElemental Mastery when available) if Mana is not an issue;
  3. Lightning Bolt IconLightning Bolt;
  4. Flame Shock IconFlame Shock when movement is required.

Multi-Target Rotation for Elemental Shamans

  1. Fire Nova Totem IconFire Nova Totem;
  2. Chain Lightning IconChain Lightning (+ Elemental Mastery IconElemental Mastery when available);
  3. Magma Totem IconMagma Totem while Fire Nova Totem IconFire Nova Totem is on cooldown;
  4. Lightning Bolt IconLightning Bolt;
  5. Flame Shock IconFlame Shock when movement is required.

Essentially, completely replace Lightning Bolt IconLightning Bolt casts with Chain Lightning IconChain Lightning against three or more targets. Against two use the normal rotation.

If you can be close to the enemies, consider using Fire Nova Totem IconFire Nova Totem on cooldown for massive damage, especially if you took Call of Flame IconCall of Flame. Magma Totem IconMagma Totem is also an option while Fire Nova is on cooldown, although its damage is much lower.


Mastering Your Shaman

In this section, we will dive deeper into the core mechanics and various abilities of Elemental Shamans. Understanding these topics is an important step to truly mastering the specialization.


Advanced Totem Usage

Tremor Totem IconTremor Totem, Poison Cleansing Totem IconPoison Cleansing Totem and Disease Cleansing Totem IconDisease Cleansing Totem should all be dropped when slightly less than 5 seconds remains until the Fear, Poison, or Disease application event. As they remove effects every 5 seconds, this will ensure that these harmful effects are removed as soon they are applied, which is of particular importance for Fears, so that allies do not have time to run out of the Totem's radius.



Due to the new downranking penalty introduced in TBC, downranking your main damage spells, such as Lightning Bolt IconLightning Bolt is no longer recommended in any situation.

You should still downrank utility spells such as Earth Shock IconEarth Shock and Frost Shock IconFrost Shock, as what is important about these is generally not their damage.


Totem Twisting

Totem Twisting is an advanced Shaman technique that aims to keep both Windfury Totem IconWindfury Totem and Grace of Air Totem IconGrace of Air Totem effects active on your party at all times.

You cannot twist caster totems as Wrath of Air Totem IconWrath of Air Totem and Totem of Wrath IconTotem of Wrath cease their effects as soon as they are replaced by other totems, and even if you are placed in a melee party, you will have almost all of your global cooldowns filled with Elemental damage spells, leaving no time to totem twist.



  • 30 May 2021: Guide added.
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