Elemental Shaman DPS Guide — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1

Last updated on Dec 10, 2018 at 15:57 by Stormy 41 comments

Welcome to our Elemental Shaman guide for World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1. 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.

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. Patch 8.1 Changes for Elemental Shaman

3. Patch 8.0.1 Changes for Elemental Shaman

  • Elemental Focus has been removed.
  • Maelstrom generation has been lowered across the board.
  • The Maelstrom costs of most abilities have been changed significantly.
  • Some abilities that were not on the global cooldown now are.
  • Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock now lasts 18 seconds and does not use Maelstrom to increase its duration, and it also has a 6-second cooldown.
  • Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock now has a static cost of 60 Maelstrom.
  • Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst now only generates 10 Maelstrom, down from 12.
  • Lava Surge Icon Lava Surge now has a 15% chance to proc, up from 10%.
  • Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning now only generates 4 Maelstrom per target hit, down from 6.
  • Earthquake Icon Earthquake now costs 60 Maelstrom, up from 50.
  • Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental now lasts 30 seconds, down from 1 minute. While Fire Elemental is active, each tick of Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock generates 3 Maelstrom.
  • Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental and Earth Elemental Icon Earth Elemental both have a new baseline ability. Their Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist forms also have one.
  • Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock no longer uses Maelstrom. The damage this ability does has been significantly increased: it now does around 90% of a Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt's damage, but it does not generate Maelstrom and has fewer synergies.
  • Tremor Totem Icon Tremor Totem is back! This ability summons a totem that removes Fear, Charm and Sleep effects from party and raid members within 30 yards. It might see some use in Uldir.
  • Capacitor Totem Icon Capacitor Totem is now a baseline ability which is the same as the Legion talent Lightning Surge Totem except it only has a 3-second duration, down from 5, and a 1-minute cooldown, up from 45 seconds.

Many talents have been removed or moved around the tree. Some talents have been changed and some new talents have been added to the game. Path of Flame, Gust of Wind, Voodoo Totem, Ancestral Swiftness, Lightning Rod, and Elemental Fusion have all been removed from the game.

4. Elemental Shaman Strengths

  • Fairly straightforward playstyle
  • Potential for very good burst damage for Single Target and Cleave/AoE
  • Excellent Utility outside of Raids.
  • Talent choices allow for excellent flexibility and varied playstyles

5. Elemental Shaman Weaknesses

  • No burst mobility
  • Most survivability tools are talent-related and can be awkward to use properly
  • Tends to be outclassed by other specializations outside of specific situations

6. Elemental Shaman Viability in the Current Patch

8.1 is a net buff for Elemental Shamans, for numbers, flexibility and fun. This version of Elemental Shaman is notably more viable for Raid content than the release version, in part because of the renewed viability of Icefury Icon Icefury. However, some problems were either not addressed properly or not at all, and Elemental still remains in my opinion a fundamentally second-rate specialization in most scenarios.

7. Changelog

  • 10 Dec. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Tectonic Thunder replaces Rumbling Tremors.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (spells page): Updated description of Frost Shock for 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (rotation page): Updated priority lists for 8.1. Added paragraphs on advanced uses of Master of the Elements and Surge of Power.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (addons page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (stats page): Updated stat priority for 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (bosses page): Updated talent recommendations for 8.1 changes.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (this page): Added Patch 8.1 changes and updated comments on viability and strengths.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (simulations page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (talents page): Added new 8.1 talents and updated other changed talents. Updated comments on talent strengths and recommendations.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (FAQ page): Updated talent recommendations for 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (easy mode page): Updated talent recommendations, stat priority & priority lists for 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated talent recommendations for 8.1.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (how to improve page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 10 Dec. 2018 (gear page): This page has been reviewed for Patch 8.1 and no changes are necessary.
  • 27 Sep. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Reorganized and updated.
  • 10 Sep. 2018 (gear page): Updated trinket section, removed pre-raid "BiS" list.
  • 02 Sep. 2018 (rotation page): Updated generic opener.
  • 31 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Updated recommended neutral traits.
  • 31 Aug. 2018 (bosses page): Added Uldir guide.
  • 31 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated trinket section (hotfix reverted).
  • 29 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated trinket section.
  • 20 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated trinket section.
  • 17 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Added sentence to explain ratios more clearly.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (how to improve page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (addons page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (enchants page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (stats page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (rotation page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (talents page): Fixed checkmarks on talent tree.
  • 13 Aug. 2018 (simulations page): Added page.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (azerite traits and gear page): Page added.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (FAQ page): Page added.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (mythic+ page): Page added.
  • 11 Aug. 2018 (bosses page): Added placeholder page for now.
  • 28 Jul. 2018 (rotation page): Added explanation for legendary boots/shoulders usage on 4-6 targets.
  • 28 Jul. 2018 (enchants page): Reverted recommended flask (nerfed).
  • 28 Jul. 2018 (addons page): Added Elemental Prepull Macro.
  • 28 Jul. 2018 (easy mode page): Fixed Fire/Earth Elementals' priority in Openers.
  • 20 Jul. 2018 (enchants page): Reverted recommended gems (nerfed).
  • 19 Jul. 2018 (enchants page): Updated optimal flask and gem use.
  • 19 Jul. 2018 (gear page): Trinket section now links to Bloodmallet's site instead of having a partial list.
  • 19 Jul. 2018 (addons page): Added Earth Elemental Harden Skin macro. Added Primal Elementals AoE macro.
  • 16 Jul. 2018 (how to improve page): Updated for the Battle for Azeroth pre-patch.
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