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Elemental Shaman DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents (Legion 7.3.2)

Last updated on Aug 29, 2017 at 17:17 by Furty 170 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for Elemental Shamans in World of Warcraft Legion 7.3.2. We detail what each of the talents do and in which situations they should be taken.

The other pages of our Elemental Shaman guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About Our Author and Reviewers

This guide has been written by Furty, who has an illustrious history in the World of Warcraft raiding scene and race for World First. He has been a member of guilds such as Serenity, Midwinter, and many more, and is currently raiding in Future. He plays most classes at the highest level. You can follow him on Twitter and watch him play on Twitch.

This guide has been written in collaboration with the team at Storm Earth and Lava, a group of Elemental theorycrafters that includes top players and prominent theorycrafters such as Stormy, Sadozai from Wizards IRL, and Gistwiki from Indestructible.

1. Talent Choices

Level Choices
15 Path of Flame ? Path of Flame Earthen Rage Earthen Rage Totem Mastery Totem Mastery
30 Gust of Wind Gust of Wind Ancestral Guidance Ancestral Guidance Wind Rush Totem Wind Rush Totem
45 Lightning Surge Totem Lightning Surge Totem Earthgrab Totem Earthgrab Totem Voodoo Totem Voodoo Totem
60 Aftershock Aftershock Ancestral Swiftness Ancestral Swiftness Elemental Mastery ? Elemental Mastery
75 Elemental Fusion Elemental Fusion Primal Elementalist ? Primal Elementalist Elemental Blast Elemental Blast
90 Liquid Magma Totem Liquid Magma Totem Storm Elemental ? Storm Elemental Echo of the Elements Echo of the Elements
100 Ascendance Ascendance Lightning Rod Lightning Rod Icefury Icefury

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

While optimizing talents on a contextual basis is the highly recommended method of setting up your build, the talent builds listed below work great for specific purposes.

2.1. The "Gambler"

This talent build has the highest single target potential of any combination of talents, but with a cost; high variance in output from pull to pull. To join in on the DPS roulette, you'll need the following:

The talent setup is as follows:

This talent setup should only be used for single target and heavy movement. It should not be used for bosses with AoE.

2.2. Ascendance Build

This is our recommended default build if you are not using "The Gambler". It is easy to execute the rotation and has unparalleled burst potential.

2.3. Lightning Rod Build

This is our recommended build for encounters with cleave and intermittent AoE. Generally you will take Liquid Magma Totem Icon Liquid Magma Totem for maximum cleave and DPS, but Echo of the Elements Icon Echo of the Elements can be substituted for a loss in overall DPS while improving your single target and priority target pressure.

2.4. Icefury Build

The Icefury Icon Icefury build puts out roughly comparable numbers to our Ascendance Icon Ascendance build, but is much more difficult to execute. The only real advantage of this build is that it handles movement a little better and provides more frequent priority target damage. Overall this build isn't recommended unless you are very comfortable with the rotation and/or you just want to spice up your rotation for some added engagement.

2.5. Mythic+

3. Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents

Path of Flame ? Path of Flame Earthen Rage Earthen Rage Totem Mastery Totem Mastery

Tier 1 talents offer a variety of buffs to help increase your combat effectiveness.

Totem Mastery Icon Totem Mastery is the best option in nearly all scenarios. On encounters with very high movement you will need to replace your totems if you venture too far from them. It also requires the lowest Mastery soft cap (at 76.5%) among the three options. It should be used by all 3 builds regardless of your stat distribution once the Tier 20 set bonuses are obtained.

Path of Flame Icon Path of Flame is the best option for an Ascendance Icon Ascendance build if you have high Mastery levels (>85%) and are currently using the Tier 19 set bonuses.

Earthen Rage Icon Earthen Rage is currently inferior to both other options, though it is the most straightforward of the three choices.

4. Tier 2 (Level 30) Talents

Gust of Wind Gust of Wind Ancestral Guidance Ancestral Guidance Wind Rush Totem Wind Rush Totem

Tier 2 talents offer an increase to raid utility and personal mobility.

  • Gust of Wind Icon Gust of Wind lets you dash forward 20-yards on a short cooldown.
  • Ancestral Guidance Icon Ancestral Guidance converts 20% of damage and healing into healing on up to 3 nearby party and/or raid members. Lasts 10-seconds, on 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.

Gust of Wind Icon Gust of Wind should be taken any time the raid cannot benefit from an additional movement speed cooldown. If the raid will benefit from the use of Wind Rush Totem Icon Wind Rush Totem, it should be used instead.

Ancestral Guidance Icon Ancestral Guidance is currently too weak to be considered.

5. Tier 3 (Level 45) Talents

Lightning Surge Totem Lightning Surge Totem Earthgrab Totem Earthgrab Totem Voodoo Totem Voodoo Totem

Tier 3 talents offer a variety of totem choices that increase your ability to control mobs.

  • Lightning Surge Totem Icon Lightning Surge Totem explodes after 2 seconds to stun all enemies within 8 yards for 5 seconds. This is an upgraded version of the old Capacitor Totem from previous expansions.
  • Earthgrab Totem Icon Earthgrab Totem pulses a root effect to all enemies within 10 yards for 5 seconds. If the roots are broken, the next pulse will instead slow the targets.
  • Voodoo Totem Icon Voodoo Totem summons a totem for 10 seconds that Hex Icon Hexes all targets within 8 yards.

Lightning Surge Totem Icon Lightning Surge Totem is the default choice for this tier. It provides a lengthy 5-second stun with only a short charge time and has the widest variety of use out of the 3 totems. Earthgrab Totem Icon Earthgrab Totem and Voodoo Totem Icon Voodoo Totem could see very specific use on fights that require AoE roots or crowd control, but should be avoided for general usage.

6. Tier 4 (Level 60) Talents

Aftershock Aftershock Ancestral Swiftness Ancestral Swiftness Elemental Mastery ? Elemental Mastery

Tier 4 talents offer a minor damage increase.

Ancestral Swiftness Icon Ancestral Swiftness is the best option for nearly all situations. Elemental Mastery Icon Elemental Mastery also be considered if a tight damage check needs to be pushed and your group is struggling. Additionally, it could be an increase on fights with clearly defined windows of increased damage, though there are no current examples of this and such situations are rare.

Aftershock Icon Aftershock is a superior option if you are currently using Smoldering Heart Icon Smoldering Heart and The Deceiver's Blood Pact Icon The Deceiver's Blood Pact, and aids with movement somewhat. Especially potent with "The Gambler" build.

7. Tier 5 (Level 75) Talents

Elemental Fusion Elemental Fusion Primal Elementalist ? Primal Elementalist Elemental Blast Elemental Blast

Tier 5 talents augments some of your basic abilities to grant significant bonus damage.

  • Elemental Fusion Icon Elemental Fusion grants Flame Shock Icon Flame Shock an additional 5% chance to proc Lava Surge Icon Lava Surge.
  • Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist grants your elementals 80% increased damage, new abilities, and the ability to control them directly.
  • Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast deals hefty damage and increases either your Crit, Haste, or Mastery by 2400 for 10 seconds. It has a 2-second cast time and a 12-second cooldown.

Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast is the best choice for virtually all situations.

Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist is an option, at a slight loss, if you struggle to properly make use of Elemental Blast Icon Elemental Blast on cooldown. This is the best option when used with "The Gambler" build as it will be paired with Storm Elemental Icon Storm Elemental.

Elemental Fusion Icon Elemental Fusion could be an option for spread cleave and/or council style encounters, but is current not used.

8. Tier 6 (Level 90) Talents

Liquid Magma Totem Liquid Magma Totem Storm Elemental ? Storm Elemental Echo of the Elements Echo of the Elements

Tier 6 talents focus on providing large power increases.

  • 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 (110% of Spell power) Fire damage to all enemies within 8 yards. 60 second cooldown.
  • Storm Elemental Icon Storm Elemental replaces your Fire Elemental Icon Fire Elemental, deals damage from ranged, and generates Maelstrom Power while active for 30 seconds. 2.5 minute cooldown.
  • Echo of the Elements Icon Echo of the Elements grants Lava Burst Icon Lava Burst 2 charges.

Echo of the Elements Icon Echo of the Elements is the best choice for all builds in all single target scenarios. Liquid Magma Totem Icon Liquid Magma Totem should be used for encounters with large numbers of adds, and in Mythic+. Additionally, you should use Liquid Magma Totem if you are currently using Soul of the Farseer Icon Soul of the Farseer.

Storm Elemental Icon Storm Elemental is only used by "The Gambler" build and should be paired with Primal Elementalist Icon Primal Elementalist.

9. Tier 7 (Level 100) Talents

Ascendance Ascendance Lightning Rod Lightning Rod Icefury Icefury

Tier 7 talents add new abilities and major damage increases to your kit.

Ascendance Icon Ascendance is generally the best option in single target scenarios. The rotation is simple to perform and suffers less from mechanical interference than Icefury Icon Icefury. It excels at pushing damage checks and offers unparalleled burst.

Lightning Rod Icon Lightning Rod is the best option for intermittent and sustained cleave and AoE. Some players may find, through SimCraft, that this is potentially the best option for single target as well. The downside of Lightning Rod Icon Lightning Rod is that it is more affected by movement and RNG than the other options. The potency on cleave encounters, however, is undeniable.

Icefury Icon Icefury offers good single target and priority damage as it can be used frequently, however, the rotation is complex to perform and less experienced players may suffer great losses in damage when learning new encounters. Icefury is recommended, if you can comfortably perform the rotation, on high movement encounters or situations where damage to priority targets is the most important part of the encounter.

10. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 29 Aug. 2017: Added a new single target build ("The Gambler") and adjusted some talent explanations for Patch 7.3.
  • 22 Jun. 2017: Adjusted a few talent descriptions, added some new talent recommendations for specific Legendary builds.
  • 19 Apr. 2017: Tweaked talent recommendations for Tiers 1 and 7. Updated default talent builds as a result.
  • 27 Mar. 2017: No changes needed for Patch 7.2.
  • 09 Jan. 2017: Fully updated talents page for 7.1.5. Also added separate builds to accommodate Legendary items.
  • 01 Dec. 2016: Updated Lightning Rod/Ascendance description for additional clarity. Also removed a few talents that were close contenders but did not see much practical use (e.g. Echo).
  • 21 Oct. 2016: Updated talent balance based on practical results in Emerald Nightmare.
  • 29 Aug. 2016: Updated for Legion's launch.
  • 18 Jul. 2016: Updated for the Legion pre-patch.
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