Elemental Shaman DPS Guide — Shadowlands 9.0.5

Last updated on Mar 14, 2021 at 20:16 by Stormy 38 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Elemental Shaman guide for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.5. Here, you will learn how to play as an Elemental Shaman in both raids and Mythic+ dungeons: from the very beginning to maximizing your DPS.

If you were looking for WoW Classic content, please refer to our Classic Elemental Shaman DPS guide.

1.

Elemental Shaman Overview

Elemental Shaman is a damage dealing spellcaster with a rich and flexible toolkit. Elemental Shamans can approach a multitude of environments without feeling compromised. Through certain talents, Elemental can also provide very significant burst damage, allowing them to surge ahead during short damage checks or dungeon bosses. Overall, this specialization has a tool or talent for every scenario, although its sustained single-target damage might be lacking.

2.

Strengths and Weaknesses

V Strengths
  • +Current best single-target talent build is very fun and mobile.
  • +Some talent builds are very straightforward to play.
  • +Potential for massive burst damage for single-target and Cleave/AoE.
  • +Excellent utility outside of Raids.
  • +Talent choices allow for excellent flexibility and varied playstyles.
X Weaknesses
  • -Most survivability tools are talent-related and can be awkward to use properly.
  • -Tends to be outclassed by other specializations outside of specific situations.
3.

Shadowlands Changes for Shamans

We are maintaining a list of changes for Shamans, so you can see what changes with every patch of Shadowlands.

3.1.

Notable 9.0.5 Changes for Elemental Shaman

Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning and Lava Beam Icon Lava Beam now deal 35% more damage.

Earthquake Icon Earthquake now deals 70% more damage.

Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock now deals 30% more damage.

Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst now deals 10% less damage.

Lightning Shield Icon Lightning Shield now deals 415% more damage.

Overall, these changes result in a massive buff to our AoE damage, and a small buff to our single-target damage. The Lightning Shield Icon Lightning Shield change does not really matter for raiding or Mythic+ as the base damage was basically nothing and it only procs when you get hit by a melee attack. This is not insignificant in PvP or for solo content, however.

Echoes of Great Sundering Icon Echoes of Great Sundering now causes Earthquake Icon Earthquake to deal 120% additional damage (was 175%). Note that because of the massive buff to baseline Earthquake, your buffed Earthquakes will actually hit significantly harder than they used to despite this nerf. Overall Patch 9.0.5 is a buff to this Legendary.

All non-Necrolord Covenant Class Abilities have been buffed. However, notably because of the massive buffs to Fleshcraft Icon Fleshcraft, Necrolord remains our recommended Covenant.

4.

Leveling an Elemental Shaman

If you want to play an Elemental Shaman, but currently do not have one at max level, you can check out our leveling guide for tips on your journey.

After the leveling phase, you may want to optimize your performance by using one or several addons. In order not to be overwhelmed, we recommend you start using at least some of our recommended addons during the leveling of your Shaman, so you can get acquainted with them and configure/customize them to your liking.

5.

Basics of Elemental Shaman Gameplay

Elemental Shaman is a spec with simple fundamentals for both single-target and AoE, with a wide array of customization available from your talents. Some talents allow for Elemental to be very easy to play, or very complex and rewarding.

Most of your time will be spent casting Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt and Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst, while maintaining Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock and casting Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock once you have enough Maelstrom. Beyond these fundamentals, gameplay largely depends on your talent choices.

If you are just starting as an Elemental Shaman and are interesting in learning the basics of the spec, visit the Spell Summary first, then the Easy Mode page below.

If you already know how Shamans work, head directly to the Talents and Rotation pages in order to find out more detailed information.

6.

How to Gear Up as an Elemental Shaman

Gearing is not as simple as it once was, although the easy access to simulations are extremely helpful. Our gearing page will help you learn about how best to gear your Elemental Shaman.

After you have acquired some gear, you must then use the right enchants, gems and consumables. Visit our dedicated page, as well as our stats page so you get a better idea which stats you should look for.

7.

Elemental Shaman in Shadowlands

Shadowlands introduces 4 Covenants, new unique "factions" that do not like each other, so much so that you can only join one of them! They are core to the Shadowlands experience and which Covenant you join is one of the biggest decisions you can make in World of Warcraft.

Shadowlands also introduces an arsenal of Legendary Powers, but you can only have one at a time, and crafting them takes time and money, choose wisely! Legendary Powers are to be acquired from the new end-game activity, Torghast.

8.

End-Game as an Elemental Shaman

While your core gameplay loop is accessible early on, max level gameplay can be wildly different than during leveling. Our Torghast, Mythic+, Raiding, and PvP guides will help you fine tune your gameplay in any end-game content.

9.

Improving as an Elemental Shaman

If you are struggling with doing good DPS and are unsure what you are doing wrong, visit the pages below in order to find answers and advice.

10.

Changelog

  • 14 Mar. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Fixed a link issue with the Heimir tree.
  • 13 Mar. 2021 (stats page): Updated stat priority for generic builds, along with adjustments for AoE and Windspeaker's Lava Resurgence.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (stats page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (enchants page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (talents page): Swapped Icefury for Primal Elementalist on the generic single-target recommendation.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Legendaries): Removed launch-specific information.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (talents page): Updated War Mode talent recommendations.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (gear page): Updated Legendary recommendation; added a link to the Valor page.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (this page): Replaced Shadowlands changes with 9.0.5 changes.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (spells page): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (FAQ page): Updated raiding talents, best Patchwerk-DPS race
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Castle Nathria page): Updated some recommended talents & Legendaries.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Reviewed for Patch 9.0.5.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (easy mode page): Updated Legendary ranking.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (rotation page): Changed Chain Lightning to be used on 2 targets following the 9.0.5 buff.
  • 09 Mar. 2021 (mythic+ page): Made a slight adjustment to talent and Legendary recommendation.
  • 03 Mar. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Updated optimal Covenant recommendations and the commentary on many Covenant abilities. Removed obsolete paragraphs about early-expansion optimization.
  • 23 Feb. 2021 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Adjusted Heirmir & Niya's recommended trees.
  • 15 Jan. 2021 (rotation page): Fixed an outdated recommendation in the Ascendance subsection.
  • 21 Dec. 2020 (talents page): Fixed a tooltip issue, updated an outdated talent description.
  • 21 Dec. 2020 (rotation page): Reworded a line in the ST rotation.
  • 20 Dec. 2020 (rotation page): Reworked the section on Master of the Elements use to be clearer.
  • 17 Dec. 2020 (rotation page): Adjusted opener.
  • 15 Dec. 2020 (enchants page): Updated potion section, added Celestial Guidance as alternative weapon enchant.
  • 15 Dec. 2020 (rotation page): Updated potion used in opener. Added more warnings about using 2 elementals with Primal Elementalist. Fixed typos on Echoes of Great Sundering lines.
  • 15 Dec. 2020 (talents page): Added warning about Primal Elementalist.
  • 15 Dec. 2020 (gear page): Removed somewhat obsolete line on Darkmoon Card Putrescence.
  • 15 Dec. 2020 (Legendaries): Added a recommendation for which stats to use when crafting Echoes of Great Sundering.
  • 08 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Updated page with tips for most bosses.
  • 08 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Added Denathrius tips.
  • 08 Dec. 2020 (Legendaries): Recommending the Shoulder slot for Echoes of Great Sundering, added reasoning.
  • 02 Dec. 2020 (simulations page): Updated to reflect new sims.
  • 02 Dec. 2020 (enchants page): Added section on Augment Runes. Updated recommended enchants, gems and food.
  • 02 Dec. 2020 (stats page): Updated Stat recommendations, added comment on the value of Intelligence.
  • 02 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Updated page with talent & preliminary Legendary Power recommendations.
  • 02 Dec. 2020 (FAQ page): Updated "best races" question.
  • 01 Dec. 2020 (Castle Nathria page): Added placeholder Castle Nathria page.
  • 26 Nov. 2020 (Legendaries): Fixed an issue with the legendary power/per week breakdown (impossible to get a legendary on the first week).
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (stats page): Updated Stat recommendations to mention differences between single-target and multi-target. Adjusted the description of mastery to be clearer.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (FAQ page): Page updated for Shadowlands release, updated recommended talents, race, and the Lava Burst during Storm Elemental answer.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (addons page): Updated for Shadowlands.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (this page): Page updated for Shadowlands release, added information on Covenants, Legendary Powers and Torghast, consolidated Pre-patch changes into the Shadowlands change section.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (enchants page): Updated gem & food choice.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (rotation page): Adjustements to rotations & opener, split AoE rotations into 2, 3 and 4+ targets, updated Master of the Elements section.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (Torghast): Page added.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (mythic+ page): Page updated for Shadowlands release. Removed the Azerite Traits section, updated talent recommendation and advice for dealing with different affixes. Added sections for Covenant and Legendary Power choice.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Removed a mention of Azerite Traits.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (talents page): Page updated for Shadowlands release. Removed references to Azerite traits and Essences, updated talent recommendations.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (gear page): Page updated for Shadowlands release; added a section on early Shadowlands gearing and one on Legendary Powers. Added a comment on trinkets, removed a lot of BfA-specific information.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (spells page): Page updated for Shadowlands release, updated information on Astral Shift and Fire Elemental.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (how to improve page): Page updated for Shadowlands release, cleaned up a couple things and updated advice to be more accurate for Shadowlands.
  • 24 Nov. 2020 (easy mode page): Added Legendary Power & Covenant recommendations.
  • 23 Nov. 2020 (Legendaries): Added a warning on Windspeaker's availability.
  • 22 Nov. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Adjusted some descriptions and recommendations on Soulbinds and some Conduits.
  • 22 Nov. 2020 (Legendaries): Fixed a few things. Adjusted Windspeaker's and Elemental Equilibrium's descriptions.
  • 21 Nov. 2020 (Covenants and Soulbinds): Page added.
  • 21 Nov. 2020 (simulations page): Page updated for Shadowlands release, updated Horde recommendation to Goblin.
  • 21 Nov. 2020 (enchants page): Page updated for Shadowlands Release, added new enchants and oil.
  • 21 Nov. 2020 (stats page): Page updated for Shadowlands release.
  • 21 Nov. 2020 (rotation page): Page updated for Shadowlands release. Opener, several sections on talents and all rotations have been updated.
  • 21 Nov. 2020 (easy mode page): Page updated for Shadowlands release, updated talents, stats, added a mention of Covenant abilities in the spell priorities, removed BfA-specific sections
  • 21 Nov. 2020 (Legendaries): Page added.
  • 15 Oct. 2020 (mythic+ page): Updated some talent recommendations, adjusted the description of lvl 35 talents.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (stats page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (gear page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (spells page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (addons page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (talents page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (enchants page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (Ny'alotha page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (mythic+ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (FAQ page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (how to improve page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (rotation page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (this page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (easy mode page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 12 Oct. 2020 (simulations page): Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
  • 09 Mar. 2020 (Torghast): Updated recommended talents, best Covenants & Legendaries, and best Anima Powers. Removed some old powers & obsolete launch information. Updated some descriptions.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (The Eternal Palace page): This page has been reviwed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviwed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 13 Jan. 2020 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviwed for the release of Patch 8.3 and no changes are necessary.
  • 15 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Filled guide with boss by boss recommendations.
  • 09 Jul. 2019 (The Eternal Palace page): Guide added.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 25 Jun. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): This page has been reviewed for the release of Patch 8.2 and no changes are necessary.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (Uldir page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 15 Apr. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): This page has been reviewed and no changes are necessary for the release of the Crucible of Storms raid.
  • 14 Apr. 2019 (Crucible of Storms page): Guide added.
  • 31 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Updated talent recommendations, added a couple more tips.
  • 31 Jan. 2019 (Uldir page): Updated talent recommendations.
  • 21 Jan. 2019 (Battle of Dazar'alor page): Added Battle of Dazar'alor advice for Elemental Shaman.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (Uldir page): Updated talent recommendations for 8.1 changes.
  • 31 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Added Uldir guide.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (Uldir page): Added placeholder page for now.
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