Elemental Shaman DPS Rotation, Cooldowns, and Abilities — Shadowlands 9.0.5

Last updated on Jun 14, 2021 at 11:58 by Stormy 46 comments
General Information

On this page, you will learn how to optimize the rotation of your Elemental Shaman in both single-target and multiple-target situations. We also have advanced sections about cooldowns, procs, etc. in order to minmax your DPS. All our content is updated for World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.0.5.

If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Elemental Shaman rotation.

1.

Elemental Shaman Rotation

Welcome to our Rotation page for Elemental Shaman. On this page you will find everything you need to know about actually playing the spec in Raiding and Mythic+ scenarios.

1.1.

Easy Mode

If the rotations below seem overwhelming to you, you might benefit from visiting our Easy Mode page, which outlines a close-to-optimal rotation in simpler terms.

1.2.

PvP

The content on this page is purely PvE-related. If you are looking for PvP Rotation Tips, please visit our PvP page below.

1.2.1.

Mythic+

Neither our single-target nor our multi-target rotations change in Mythic+ content. If you are looking for information and tips specific to Mythic+ content, please visit our Mythic+ page below.

2.

Single-Target Rotation for Elemental Shaman

The rotation of an Elemental Shaman revolves around the following priority list.

  • Static Discharge
  • Elemental Blast
  • Echoing Shock
  • Master of the Elements
  • Storm Elemental
  • Liquid Magma Totem
  • Surge of Power
  • Icefury
  • Stormkeeper
  • Ascendance
  • Echoes of Great Sundering
  • Necrolord
  • Night Fae
  • Kyrian
  • Venthyr
  1. Apply Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock (ideally with Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave if you joined the Necrolord Covenant) if it is absent.
  2. Cast Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental (or Storm Elemental Icon Storm Elemental if talented) if it is off cooldown. Always pair your elemental with Haste buffs (e.g. Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Heroism Icon Heroism) if possible, but do not sacrifice an extra usage by delaying your elemental.
  3. Cast Earth Elemental Icon Earth Elemental if it is off cooldown and you either are not using Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist or your Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental is not currently active. You cannot have 2 Primal Elementals active at the same time.
  4. Cast Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock if your next cast will make you overcap Maelstrom.
  5. Cast Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst whenever available.
  6. Refresh Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock if it will expire in under 6 seconds.
  7. Cast Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock if you have 60 or more Maelstrom.
  8. Cast Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt as a filler on a single target.
  9. Cast Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock as a filler while moving.

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

Note that if you are using Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist without Storm Elemental Icon Storm Elemental, you can cast Meteor Icon Meteor whenever you want, as you can only cast it once per Elemental. Since its damage is not split, you ideally want to hold onto it if multiple targets are going to be present.

3.

Multiple Target Rotation for Elemental Shaman

3.1.

2 Targets

The 2 targets priority list is the same as the single-target with the following changes.

  1. Apply and maintain Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock on both targets.
  2. Cast Earthquake Icon Earthquake at 60+ Maelstrom (multiple instances of this spell overlap) if the targets will remain in the zone for its duration.
  3. Cast Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning instead of Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt if it will hit both targets.
3.2.

3 Targets

The 3-target priority list is the same as the single-target, with the following changes.

  • Night Fae
  1. Apply and maintain Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock on all 3 targets.
  2. Cast Earthquake Icon Earthquake at 60+ Maelstrom (multiple instances of this spell overlap) if the targets are stacked.
  3. Cast Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning instead of Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt if it will hit all 3 targets.
3.3.

4+ Targets

  • Echoing Shock
  • Master of the Elements
  • Storm Elemental
  • Liquid Magma Totem
  • Stormkeeper
  • Echoes of the Great Sundering
  • Necrolord
  • Night Fae
  • Kyrian
  • Venthyr
  1. Cast Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental (or Storm Elemental Icon Storm Elemental if you picked that).
  2. Cast Earth Elemental Icon Earth Elemental if it is off cooldown and you either are not using Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist or your Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental is not currently active. You cannot have 2 Primal Elementals active at the same time.
  3. Cast Earthquake Icon Earthquake.
  4. Cast Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning to generate Maelstrom.
3.4.

AoE Target Caps

3.5.

"Funneling"

Funneling means using the fact that there are multiple targets present in the fight to gain damage on a single target. For Elemental Shamans, this means having multiple Flame Shock Icon Flame Shocks running on several targets and using the additional Lava Surge Icon Lava Surge procs to gain a significant amount of DPS on one target. If this is an important part of the fight, you may want to gear toward Haste, as this is a very good stat for this strategy.

3.6.

Master of the Elements

If you are using the talent Master of the Elements Icon Master of the Elements it becomes very important to try to use the buff on the most appropriate spell for the situation, usually Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock. From best to worst, you ideally want to use Master of the Elements Icon Master of the Elements on:

  1. Fae Transfusion Icon Fae Transfusion if you joined the Night Fae Covenant.
  2. Earthquake Icon Earthquake if it will hit 2+ targets or is empowered by Echoes of Great Sundering Icon Echoes of Great Sundering.
  3. Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt empowered by Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper
  4. Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock
  5. Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock empowered by Icefury Icon Icefury
  6. Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast
  7. Icefury Icon Icefury
  8. Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt
  9. Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock

Note that the list above is what will give the most value for the proc, but IT DOES NOT MEAN THAT THIS IS THE ACTUAL SPELL PRIORITY IF YOU HAVE A PROC. It should not override the fact that you should cast Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock if you have 92 or more Maelstrom or that casting Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast should generally take priority over everything else if long term efficiency is the goal. Obviously there are plenty of situational exceptions, but it is impossible to give static priorities for every situation.

3.7.

Surge of Power

In most scenarios, especially in a raid, there are two main uses for Surge of Power Icon Surge of Power. Either you use it on Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst in order to get a full additional use of Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental, or, if the fight will not last long enough, you use it on Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt for additional Mastery: Elemental Overload Icon Mastery: Elemental Overload procs.

In addition, against exactly 2 targets within 8 yards of each other, you want to use Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock to empower your Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock to hit both targets, but only if Flame Shock is not already present on both or is within the pandemic window.

Finally, if you are using Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper as well, you will generally want to pool Maelstrom before casting it, so that both Stormkeeper-empowered Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolts become also empowered by Surge of Power Icon Surge of Power.

Here is an example:

  1. Pool Maelstrom until you have 96
  2. Cast Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock
  3. Cast Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper
  4. Cast Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt
  5. Cast Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst
  6. Cast Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock
  7. Cast Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt

This talent has some interesting synergy with Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave and Skybreaker's Fiery Demise Icon Skybreaker's Fiery Demise for heavy multi-dotting of split targets.

4.

Cooldown Usage for Elemental Shaman

Before using each of your cooldowns, you should take special care to consider several factors. Our offensive cooldowns have lengthy recharge times, but when correctly utilized, can be responsible for a large percentage of our damage output. You should always take into account:

  • Your raid's Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Heroism Icon Heroism/Time Warp Icon Time Warp usage.
  • The mechanics of the current boss, including intermissions and abilities that necessitate movement.
  • The spawn timers of any adds that might be present, as we may want to use or delay certain cooldowns with respect to cleave and AoE.
4.1.

Ascendance

There are a few things to consider before each Ascendance Icon Ascendance usage.

  • Ensure Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock is present on as many targets as possible.
  • Ensure no boss mechanics will interfere, such as intermissions, boss movement, or mechanics that will force you to move. It can be a good idea to use Spiritwalker's Grace Icon Spiritwalker's Grace to ensure full DPS uptime.
  • Try to begin with as little Maelstrom as possible.
  • Clear Lava Surge Icon Lava Surge if active, and any remaining Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst charges.
  • If using this talent, cast Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast immediately before activating Ascendance.

It is always worth it to recast Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast during your Ascendance Icon Ascendance. Do not let yourself Maelstrom cap either; be sure to cast Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock when or before you reach 90 Maelstrom.

It is more efficient to spend your time in Ascendance Icon Ascendance casting Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst instead of Lava Beam Icon Lava Beam. Even if there is intermittent cleave on an encounter, try to use Ascendance during single-target portions of the fight.

4.2.

Fire Elemental

Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental has a long cooldown, and its usage should be considered carefully. The best time to use this cooldown is always during periods of increased Haste or damage, and therefore we typically will pair it with the Bloodlust Icon Bloodlust/Heroism Icon Heroism/Time Warp Icon Time Warp usage. That said, we never want to lose a potential usage of Fire Elemental by delaying it for maximum efficacy. For example, on an encounter that lasts 3 minutes, you would use Fire Elemental immediately on the pull and once again as soon as it is off cooldown, regardless of when Bloodlust/Heroism/Time Warp is used. Remember not to use Earth Elemental Icon Earth Elemental when Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental is still around if you use Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist.

4.3.

Stormkeeper

Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper is used more or less on cooldown on pure single target encounters, provided it does not interfere with more important rotational abilities, such as Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst.

On multiple-target fights, or fights with intermittent cleave and AoE, it can be a good idea to delay your Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper until you are able to Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning the adds.

5.

Managing Movement for Elemental Shaman

Elemental is a lot more mobile in Shadowlands, largely because of Spiritwalker's Grace Icon Spiritwalker's Grace. Icefury Icon Icefury further helps with making Elemental a fairly mobile spec, especially when combined with utilizing your instant spells to adjust your positioning. Pro-actively position yourself to reduce potential movement from mechanics. Keep careful track of boss timers and mechanics, as they can spell disaster for your damage if you are targeted during a damage dump.

6.

Academic Information for Elemental Shaman

6.1.

Maelstrom Management

You should avoid casting Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst above 90 Maelstrom and Icefury Icon Icefury above 75 Maelstrom. These limits are the maximum Maelstrom you can have before casting those spells to not overcap Maelstrom without an Mastery: Elemental Overload Icon Mastery: Elemental Overload proc. It is likely these spells will overload at raid levels of gear, therefore, if you cast Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst at 90 Maelstrom or Icefury Icon Icefury at 75 Maelstrom it is likely you will overcap Maelstrom and waste valuable resources. In practice, it is safer to cast these spells at lower Maelstrom than their limits to avoid wasting your overload procs. The key to success is managing all of your separate procs without overcapping Maelstrom.

6.2.

Lava Burst and Flame Shock

The reason why Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock should always be up on your target is because:

  • each tick has a chance to proc Lava Surge Icon Lava Surge, which resets the cooldown of Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst;
  • your Lava Burst will always critically hit if Flame Shock is on the target. This is very important due to your Elemental Fury Icon Elemental Fury passive.

You should only cast Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst when Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock is active on the target, or the target will live for less than 5 seconds. Flame Shock ticks every 3 seconds without accounting for Haste, meaning that you have to take advantage of Lava Surge Icon Lava Surge within one global cooldown to avoid potentially wasting a new Lava Surge proc from the next Flame Shock tick. By the same token, casting Lava Burst immediately as it comes off cooldown is also imperative so that Lava Surge is not wasted while Lava Burst is off cooldown.

Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock benefits from Pandemic, meaning that you can refresh it any time that it has less than 30% of its original maximum duration remaining and the remaining duration will be added to the new debuff. Therefore you are be able to refresh Flame Shocks without wasting any duration when it has 5 seconds or less remaining, and it will be extended by 18 seconds. For example, if your Flame Shock has 5 seconds left and you refresh it your new Flame Shock would last 23 seconds.

7.

Opening Sequence for Elemental Shaman

7.1.

Generic Opener

Note that, because of the new changes, this is a work in progress.

  1. Cast Vesper Totem Icon Vesper Totem 6 seconds before the pull if you joined the Kyrian Covenant.
  2. Cast Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper 4.5 seconds before the pull.
  3. Cast Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental/Storm Elemental Icon Storm Elemental 3 seconds before the pull.
  4. Use Potion of Spectral Intellect Icon Potion of Spectral Intellect.
  5. Pre-cast Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast 1.5 seconds from the pull (Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst if not using that talent).
  6. Apply Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock (with Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave if your pre-cast was Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast).
  7. If your pre-cast was Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst, cast Primordial Wave Icon Primordial Wave.
  8. If your pre-cast was Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst, cast Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt.
  9. Cast Echoing Shock Icon Echoing Shock, if talented
  10. Cast Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst.
  11. Cast Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt.
  12. Cast Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst.
  13. If your pre-cast was Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast, cast Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst into Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt to use your second Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper charge.
  14. Cast Icefury Icon Icefury, if talented.
  15. Cast Ascendance Icon Ascendance, if talented.
  16. Proceed with normal priority.
8.

Changelog

  • 14 Jun. 2021: Fixed a typo that made the 4+ target rotation a little strange.
  • 09 Mar. 2021: Changed Chain Lightning to be used on 2 targets following the 9.0.5 buff.
  • 15 Jan. 2021: Fixed an outdated recommendation in the Ascendance subsection.
  • 21 Dec. 2020: Reworded a line in the ST rotation.
  • 20 Dec. 2020: Reworked the section on Master of the Elements use to be clearer.
  • 17 Dec. 2020: Adjusted opener.
  • 15 Dec. 2020: Updated potion used in opener. Added more warnings about using 2 elementals with Primal Elementalist. Fixed typos on Echoes of Great Sundering lines.
  • 24 Nov. 2020: Adjustements to rotations & opener, split AoE rotations into 2, 3 and 4+ targets, updated Master of the Elements section.
  • 21 Nov. 2020: Page updated for Shadowlands release. Opener, several sections on talents and all rotations have been updated.
  • 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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