Elemental Shaman DPS Spec, Builds, and Talents — Shadowlands 9.1
On this page, you will find out the best talents for each tier for your Elemental Shaman in World of Warcraft — Shadowlands 9.1. 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.
If you were looking for TBC Classic content, please refer to our TBC Classic Elemental Shaman talents.
Talent Choices for Elemental Shaman
|15||? Earthen Rage||✓ Echo of the Elements||✗ Static Discharge|
|25||✓ Aftershock||✓ Echoing Shock||✓ Elemental Blast|
|30||✓ Spirit Wolf||? Earth Shield||? Static Charge|
|35||✓ Master of the Elements||✗ Storm Elemental||? Liquid Magma Totem|
|40||✓ Nature's Guardian||✓ Ancestral Guidance||? Wind Rush Totem|
|45||? Surge of Power||✓ Primal Elementalist||✓ Icefury|
|50||✗ Unlimited Power||✓ Stormkeeper||✗ 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 Still Mind and Codex of the Still Mind can be used to temporarily allow players to change talents anywhere, as long as they are out of combat.
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 or Tyrannical, although other affixes are also important. Either way, you should generally use the AoE/Cleave build as a baseline for dungeons.
This is the best generic single-target build for Shadowlands.
- Level 15: Echo of the Elements
- Level 25: Elemental Blast
- Level 30: Spirit Wolf
- Level 35: Master of the Elements
- Level 40: Nature's Guardian
- Level 45: Primal Elementalist
- Level 50: Stormkeeper
This is our recommended build for encounters with heavy cleave and intermittent AoE.
- Level 15: Earthen Rage
- Level 25: Aftershock
- Level 30: Static Charge or Spirit Wolf
- Level 35: Master of the Elements or Liquid Magma Totem
- Level 40: Nature's Guardian
- Level 45: Primal Elementalist
- Level 50: Stormkeeper
The builds suggested above do not account for specific fights in the current raid tier. If you wish to have a boss-by-boss breakdown of talent choices, you should check out our dedicated page below.
Mythic+ can potentially require a mix of certain talents, depending on affixes and other variables. If you want advice that is specific to Mythic+, you should check out our page below.
How To Use Elemental Shaman Talents
There are multiple talents that require a change to your rotation in order to use them optimally. You can find more information on how your rotation will look after selecting your talents on our rotation page below.
Tier 1 (Level 15) Talents for Elemental Shaman
|? Earthen Rage||✔ Echo of the Elements||✘ Static Discharge|
- Earthen Rage causes your most recently attacked target to take damage over 6 seconds.
- Echo of the Elements grants Lava Burst 2 charges.
- Static Discharge deals moderate damage to a single-target over 3 seconds.
Earthen Rage is okay in every situation.
Static Discharge is currently too weak to consider.
Tier 2 (Level 25) Talents for Elemental Shaman
|✔ Aftershock||✔ Echoing Shock||✔ Elemental Blast|
- Aftershock grants your spells a 25% chance to refund their Maelstrom cost.
- Echoing Shock deals moderate damage and causes your next damage or healing spell to be cast a second time 1 second later for free.
- Elemental Blast deals significant damage, generates 30 Maelstrom and increases your Critical Strike, Mastery or Haste by 3% for 10 seconds.
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.
Echoing Shock is strong for burst damage, but loses out to its neighbours in longer fights.
Elemental Blast is very good in single-target and surprisingly useful in AoE.
Tier 3 (Level 30) Talents for Elemental Shaman
|✔ Spirit Wolf||? Earth Shield||? Static Charge|
- 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 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 is a new talent that reduces the cooldown of Capacitor Totem by 5 seconds for each enemy it stuns, up to a maximum of 20 seconds.
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. It is potentially a 20% damage reduction available whenever you really need it.
Static Charge is useful if you need to stun adds more often than once per minute.
Tier 4 (Level 35) Talents for Elemental Shaman
|✔ Master of the Elements||✘ Storm Elemental||? Liquid Magma Totem|
- Master of the Elements causes your Lava Bursts to increase the damage of your next Nature, Physical or Frost spell by 20%.
- Storm Elemental replaces 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 and Chain Lightning by 3% each time you cast either spell, up to 20 times. This has a 2.5-minute cooldown.
- 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.
Storm Elemental is now fairly mediocre after its AoE component from Primal Elementalist got weaker. It remains strong for 4-6 target burst, but, unless you have a specific dangerous pack to use it on, it is probably not your best option.
Liquid Magma Totem is solid if you need DPS bursts with that particular timing (or in dungeons). Good if you can have it for every AoE pull.
Tier 5 (Level 40) Talents for Elemental Shaman
|✔ Nature's Guardian||✔ Ancestral Guidance||? Wind Rush Totem|
- 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 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 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 should be the default pick, as it nearly always gives you value and you do not need to do anything.
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.
Tier 6 (Level 45) Talents for Elemental Shaman
|? Surge of Power||✔ Primal Elementalist||✔ Icefury|
- Surge of Power causes Earth Shock to enhance your next spell
cast within 15 seconds.
- Flame Shock: Your next cast also applies Flame Shock to 1 additional target within 8 yards.
- Lightning Bolt: Your next cast will cause an additional 1-3 Mastery: Elemental Overloads.
- Lava Burst: Your next cast reduces the cooldown of Storm Elemental or Fire Elemental by 6 seconds.
- Frost Shock: Your next cast freezes the target in place for 6 seconds.
- Primal Elementalist grants your elementals 80% increased damage, new abilities, and the ability to control them directly. Notably, this talent grants your Earth Elemental the ability to cast 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. Be careful NOT to summon both your elementals back to back if using this talent, you can only have one primal elemental out at a time.
- Icefury hurls frigid ice at the target, dealing high damage and causing your next 4 Frost Shocks to deal 300% increased damage and generates 8 Maelstrom. It generates 25 Maelstrom, has a 2-second cast time and a 30-second cooldown.
Surge of Power does a bit of everything, but not very well. It can occasionally be used by advanced players for specific situations and has some synergy with Primordial Wave and Skybreaker's Fiery Demise.
Primal Elementalist is an excellent all-around option on this tier, fairly easy to use and giving you a bit of everything. Recommended for beginners and non-raid content.
Icefury takes some time to learn but it is very powerful for single-target situations, especially when you have to move a lot. This is the default choice for single-target encounters assuming you can play around it correctly, and also use Master of the Elements and Echo of the Elements.
Tier 7 (Level 50) Talents for Elemental Shaman
|✘ Unlimited Power||✔ Stormkeeper||✘ Ascendance|
- 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 has a 1.5-second cast time and causes your next 2 Lightning Bolt OR 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 transforms you for 15 seconds, removing the cooldown from Lava Burst and transforming Chain Lightning into Lava Beam. The damage of Lava Burst is further increased by your Critical Strike chance while Ascendance is active. Ascendance has a 3-minute cooldown.
Unlimited Power has significant scaling, which means it gains significant value the more mastery you have. Unfortunately, it is currently much too weak to use.
Stormkeeper is very strong and versatile. It should be used in every situation.
Ascendance is now too weak to be considered unless you specifically need it to help beat a short DPS check.
PvP Talents (War Mode)
In Shadowlands, you can 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. If you need advice on how to fight against other players, visit the link below.
Elemental Shaman War Mode Talents
In this section we will rank the PvP talents best for leveling and doing solo or small-group PvE content. Below is a ranking of Elemental Shaman-specific PvP talents to aid in PvE.
- Lightning Lasso is a channeled ability that stuns a target for up to 5 seconds and deals heavy damage. It is very powerful in the right situation but easily interrupted. You should almost always pick this talent.
- Swelling Waves makes your Healing Surges 50% stronger. It is fantastic for solo play and surviving without healers.
- Static Field Totem summons a totem at a target location that creates a circle of terrain that enemies cannot move through. It is extremely handy, versatile crowd control with a 1-minute cooldown.
- 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.
- 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.
- Seasoned Winds is mostly nice when facing a bunch of enemies doing similar damage types, and it is one of the few useful PvP talents that are not active, so it can be a good pick-up if you are not finding yourself use the active talents much.
- Grounding Totem can be handy in PvE but is mostly strong in PvP-exclusive activities.
- Unleash Shield is a 20-yard range, 30-second cooldown crowd-control ability, the effect of which depends on the type of elemental shield you are using. For Elemental, it will mostly be a knockback, which is always nice, but in our opinion not really worth picking up for PvE.
- The new version of Control of Lava offers a small DPS gain, so it can be a good option for people not finding use for more active talents.
- Spectral Recovery can help especially early on in the Maw, but I would only consider this talent if you are really struggling.
We recommend picking 3 of the above talents, depending on what you value most. Personally, I recommend choosing Lightning Lasso, Swelling Waves, and either Static Field Totem or Skyfury Totem by default.
Traveling Storms has niche uses, but is simply not very useful compared to the other talents. Do not dismiss it entirely, but for the most part you can safely ignore it.
- 29 Jun. 2021: Updated for Patch 9.1.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Updated War Mode talent recommendations.
- 09 Mar. 2021: Swapped Icefury for Primal Elementalist on the generic single-target recommendation.
- 21 Dec. 2020: Fixed a tooltip issue, updated an outdated talent description.
- 15 Dec. 2020: Added warning about Primal Elementalist.
- 24 Nov. 2020: Page updated for Shadowlands release. Removed references to Azerite traits and Essences, updated talent recommendations.
- 12 Oct. 2020: Page updated for the Shadowlands pre-patch.
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