Elemental Shaman DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1

Last updated on Dec 10, 2018 at 15:35 by Stormy 41 comments

On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Elemental Shaman in World of Warcraft — Battle for Azeroth (BfA) 8.1. We also have default talent lists for various types of content, such as raiding or Mythic+. If you play with Warmode on, we have your PvP talents covered as well.

1. Talent Choices for Elemental Shaman

Level Choices
15 Earthen Rage Earthen Rage Echo of the Elements Echo of the Elements Elemental Blast Elemental Blast
30 Aftershock ? Aftershock Call the Thunder Call the Thunder Totem Mastery Totem Mastery
45 Spirit Wolf Spirit Wolf Earth Shield Earth Shield Static Charge ? Static Charge
60 Master of the Elements Master of the Elements Storm Elemental Storm Elemental Liquid Magma Totem ? Liquid Magma Totem
75 Nature's Guardian Nature's Guardian Ancestral Guidance ? Ancestral Guidance Wind Rush Totem ? Wind Rush Totem
90 Surge of Power Surge of Power Primal Elementalist Primal Elementalist Icefury Icefury
100 Unlimited Power Unlimited Power Stormkeeper Stormkeeper Ascendance Ascendance

Talents can be freely changed when out of combat and in a rested XP area (such as an inn or a capital city). Moreover, Tome of the Tranquil Mind Icon Tome of the Tranquil Mind and Codex of the Tranquil Mind Icon Codex of the Tranquil Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.

2. Talent Cheat Sheets for Elemental Shaman

Optimizing talents on a contextual basis is the highly recommended method of setting up your build. That being said, the builds listed below are very well rounded and should give you good results. For Mythic+, your choices will heavily depend on whether the key is Fortified Icon Fortified or Tyrannical Icon Tyrannical, although other affixes are also important. Either way, you should generally use the AoE/Cleave build as a baseline for dungeons.

2.1. Single Target

This is the best generic single target build for BfA.

2.2. AoE/Cleave

This is our recommended build for encounters with cleave and intermittent AoE.

3. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Elemental Shaman

Earthen Rage Earthen Rage Echo of the Elements Echo of the Elements Elemental Blast Elemental Blast
  • Earthen Rage Icon Earthen Rage causes your most recently attacked target to take damage over 6 seconds.
  • Echo of the Elements Icon Echo of the Elements grants Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst 2 charges.
  • Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast deals good damage and increases either your Crit, Haste, or Mastery by 91 for 10 seconds. It has a 2-second cast time and a 12-second cooldown.

Earthen Rage Icon Earthen Rage is by far the strongest talent in this tier.

Echo of the Elements Icon Echo of the Elements and Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast are currently too weak to consider.

4. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents for Elemental Shaman

Aftershock ? Aftershock Call the Thunder Call the Thunder Totem Mastery Totem Mastery

Aftershock Icon Aftershock is a very unreliable talent, but with the potential of significant damage if you are lucky with its procs. Strong for 5+ targets AoE.

Master of the Elements Icon Master of the Elements is good quality of life but currently weak in nearly every situation.

Totem Mastery Icon Totem Mastery is the best option in most scenarios, especially if you can drop one before the encounter begins. On encounters with very high movement, you will need to replace your totems if you move too far from them.

5. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents for Elemental Shaman

Spirit Wolf Spirit Wolf Earth Shield Earth Shield Static Charge ? Static Charge
  • Spirit Wolf Icon Spirit Wolf grants you 5% increased movement speed and damage reduction every 1 second, stacking up to 4 times, while you are transformed into a Ghost Wolf.
  • Earth Shield Icon Earth Shield places a shield that heals its target for a small amount whenever they take damage. This heal can only occur once every few seconds, and has 9 charges.
  • Static Charge Icon Static Charge is a new talent that reduces the cooldown of Capacitor Totem Icon Capacitor Totem by 5 seconds for each enemy it stuns, up to a maximum of 20 seconds.

Spirit Wolf Icon Spirit Wolf is mediocre, the gain starting only after 1 second spent in Ghost Wolf form. It should still be the default talent for raiding if you do not need to use Static Charge Icon Static Charge. It is potentially a 20% damage reduction available whenever you really need it.

Earth Shield Icon Earth Shield is a niche talent that is mostly useful for solo play or on encounters where you will never use Ghost Wolf Icon Ghost Wolf.

Static Charge Icon Static Charge is useful if you need to stun adds more often than once per minute.

6. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents for Elemental Shaman

Master of the Elements Master of the Elements Storm Elemental Storm Elemental Liquid Magma Totem ? Liquid Magma Totem
  • Master of the Elements Icon Master of the Elements causes your Lava Burst Icon Lava Bursts to increase the damage of your next Nature, Physical or Frost spell by 20%.
  • Storm Elemental Icon Storm Elemental replaces Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental. It summons an elemental for 30 seconds that deals significant damage and reduces the cast time of and the GCD incurred by your Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt and Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning by 3% each time you cast either spell, up to 20 times. This has a 2.5-minute cooldown.
  • Liquid Magma Totem Icon Liquid Magma Totem summons a totem at the target location for 15 seconds that hurls liquid magma at a random nearby target every 1 sec, dealing Fire damage to all enemies within 8 yards. It has a 60 second cooldown.

Master of the Elements Icon Master of the Elements has interesting interactions but is fairly weak.

Storm Elemental Icon Storm Elemental is quite strong and gains a strong AoE component if you also use Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist.

Liquid Magma Totem Icon Liquid Magma Totem is solid and generally a good choice.

7. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents for Elemental Shaman

Nature's Guardian Nature's Guardian Ancestral Guidance ? Ancestral Guidance Wind Rush Totem ? Wind Rush Totem
  • Nature's Guardian Icon Nature's Guardian heals you for 20% of your maximum health when your health is brought below 35%. It can only proc every 45 seconds. It does not proc if you take fatal damage.
  • Ancestral Guidance Icon Ancestral Guidance converts 20% of your damage and healing done into healing on up to 3 nearby party and/or raid members. Lasts 10 seconds, with a 2-minute cooldown.
  • Wind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem summons a totem for 15 seconds that increases the speed of allies within 10 yards by 60% for 5 seconds. The speed buff is continually refreshed as long as they are within range.

Nature's Guardian Icon Nature's Guardian should be the default pick, as it nearly always gives you value and you do not need to do anything.

Ancestral Guidance Icon Ancestral Guidance can be useful to survive a particularly hard-hitting phase or if you are confident you will not need Nature's Guardian Icon Nature's Guardian.

Wind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem can have some use in organized fights where you place it at a prearranged location to help your raid move somewhere fast. If you do not specifically require it, it is not very good.

8. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents for Elemental Shaman

Surge of Power Surge of Power Primal Elementalist Primal Elementalist Icefury Icefury
  • Surge of Power Icon Surge of Power causes Earth Shock Icon Earth Shock to enhance your next spell cast within 15 seconds.
  • Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist grants your elementals 80% increased damage, new abilities, and the ability to control them directly. Notably, this talent grants your Earth Elemental Icon Earth Elemental the ability to cast Harden Skin Icon Harden Skin, reducing your and your elemental's damage taken by 40% for 10 seconds. It also grants new damage abilities to your other elementals
  • Icefury Icon Icefury hurls frigid ice at the target, dealing high damage and causing your next 4 Frost Shock Icon Frost Shock to deal 100% increased damage. It generates 15 Maelstrom, has a 2-second cast time and a 30-second cooldown.

Surge of Power Icon Surge of Power is currently too weak to be considered.

Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist is generally the best option on this tier.

Icefury Icon Icefury is very strong, especially in single-target high movement situations.

9. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents for Elemental Shaman

Unlimited Power Unlimited Power Stormkeeper Stormkeeper Ascendance Ascendance
  • Unlimited Power Icon Unlimited Power grants 2% Haste for 10 seconds when one of your spells causes an Elemental Overload. This stacks, but gaining a stack does not refresh the duration of the previous stacks.
  • Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper has a 1.5-second cast time and causes your next 2 Lightning Bolt Icon Lightning Bolt OR Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning to be instant cast and trigger an additional Elemental Overload on every target hit. If you use the buff on Lightning Bolts, they will also do 150% more damage.
  • Ascendance Icon Ascendance transforms you for 15 seconds, removing the cooldown from Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst and transforming Chain Lightning Icon Chain Lightning into Lava Beam Icon Lava Beam. The damage of Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst is further increased by your Critical Strike chance while Ascendance is active. Ascendance has a 3-minute cooldown.

Unlimited Power Icon Unlimited Power has significant scaling, which means it gains significant value the more mastery you have. However it is currently still too weak to use at current gear levels.

Stormkeeper Icon Stormkeeper is very strong and versatile. It should be the default choice in every situation.

Ascendance Icon Ascendance is now too weak to be considered.

10. PvP Talents (War Mode)

In Battle for Azeroth, there will be the option to go into "War Mode". Enabling War Mode provides the following benefits:

  • PvP talents enabled in the outdoor world.
  • 10% increase in World Quest rewards at maximum level.
  • 10% more experience gained while leveling.
  • Earn Conquest Points which can reward gear every week.

With the benefits of enabling War Mode for leveling and PvE content, it is recommended to enable the feature to maximize your leveling and rewards at maximum level. However, you will make yourself available for open world PvP, and the possibility to be "ganked" while leveling or doing World Quests exists.

10.1. Elemental Shaman War Mode Talents

In this section we will rank the PvP talents best for leveling and doing solo / small group PvE content. Below is a ranking of both General PvP Talents and Elemental Shaman-specific PvE talents.

10.1.1. General PvP Talents

  1. Relentless Icon Relentless is a passive ability that reduces the duration of all crowd control effects on you by 20%.
  2. Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion is an on-use ability that removes all movement impairing effects and all loss of control effects on a 2-minute cooldown.
  3. Adaptation Icon Adaptation removes a loss of control effect with a duration of more than 5 seconds once per minute.

All 3 of these talents have their use, I personally recommend using Gladiator's Medallion Icon Gladiator's Medallion if you will think of using it whenever it is useful. Otherwise, Relentless Icon Relentless is always nice to have.

10.1.2. Elemental Shaman PvP Talents

  1. Skyfury Totem Icon Skyfury Totem increases the critical effect of spells of allies within 40 yards by 20% for 15 seconds, 40-second cooldown. Good for solo play, excellent if you are doing outdoors content with others.
  2. Swelling Waves Icon Swelling Waves makes your Healing Surge Icon Healing Surges 50% stronger.
  3. Elemental Attunement Icon Elemental Attunement increases your maximum Maelstrom by 50, allowing for a lot more banking and control.
  4. Earthfury Icon Earthfury makes your Earth Shock Icon Earth Shocks stun the target for 2 seconds if you are at 100 Maelstrom or above when casting them. This has excellent synergy with the previous talent and should rarely be used without it.
  5. Counterstrike Totem Icon Counterstrike Totem replicates and reflects damage you take for 15 seconds, on a 45-second cooldown. This can be really strong when in a high damage area to deal some chip damage to targets around you, and convert your health pool into additional damage.

We recommend picking 3 of the above 4 talents, depending on what you what you value most.

Grounding Totem Icon Grounding Totem, Lightning Lasso Icon Lightning Lasso, Purifying Waters Icon Purifying Waters, Spectral Recovery Icon Spectral Recovery, Traveling Storms Icon Traveling Storms and Control of Lava Icon Control of Lava have either niche uses or are simply not very useful compared to the other talents. Do not dismiss them entirely but for the most part you can safely ignore them.

11. Changelog

  • 10 Dec. 2018: Added new 8.1 talents and updated other changed talents. Updated comments on talent strengths and recommendations.
  • 13 Aug. 2018: Fixed checkmarks on talent tree.
  • 13 Aug. 2018: Updated for Battle for Azeroth launch.
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